Colorado continues to be the epicenter for ministry through the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
With chaplains beginning to attend and offer condolences at the funeral services of the horrific movie theater shootings on July 20, ministry continues about 70 miles south in the aftermath of the wildfires near Colorado Springs.
Seventeen chaplains have helped deliver emotional and spiritual care surrounding the “Waldo Park” fire, which caused more than 32,000 evacuations and destroyed nearly 350 homes.
Linda was one of those evacuees but when she returned to her home, there was nothing left.
As Samaritan’s Purse volunteers sifted through the ashes, looking for a special necklace, two Rapid Response Team chaplains visited with the distraught homeowner.
Turns out the necklace was made from a five-dollar gold coin, which had been turned into a necklace as an anniversary gift from her late husband.
Linda and her husband had been on the other end of a service business for years, so for someone to be helping her was a role she wasn’t comfortable with.
The following day was Linda’s birthday and when the volunteers found out, they started singing to her, only to be interrupted by another volunteer who had still been sifting for that memento.
They had found the gold coin/necklace and presented it to Linda.
“This is it! This is it!” she explained.
The volunteers had also found blobs of what used to be her silverware, which had melted into the shape of a cross.
The conversation turned to spiritual things and Linda shared about her faith in Jesus Christ and her collection of Bibles, which all burned in the fire. The chaplains presented her with a new Bible, one from the Billy Graham Training Center, and prayed with her. They also left behind some literature to help her deal with the loss in her life.
As the Samaritan’s Purse and Rapid Response Team volunteers left her with hugs, Linda said she was “overwhelmed” by the number of people God sent to Linda in her time of need.
Ministry also continues in the aftermath of the “Little Bear” fire, which burned more than 34,000 acres to the ground.
Nearly 800 people have been ministered to by 33 chaplains, which has seen dozens of decisions made, including first-time salvation, assurances and rededication.
Jane was one of those who prayed for Christ to come into her life.
She had lived a painful life and the fire’s effect had caused her to come to one of the churches to request help from Samaritan’s Purse.The Rapid Response Team chaplains also reached out to Jane and listened to her story, praying for her specific needs.
The chaplains were then led to show Jane Steps to Peace with God and Jane was very receptive, explaining to the chaplains she had never prayed to receive Christ in her life.
The chaplains asked her if she’d like to do that and Jane took them up on it and gave her life to the Lord.
Moose, Lake, Minn.:
In a deployment that ended June 30, 14 chaplains shared with more than 350 people affected by severe flooding north of the Twin Cities.
They reached out to one homeowner who not only lost his house, but also his job just two weeks prior. The chaplains hooked up the homeowner with contact information for debris removal in the area.
And while this homeowner said he had a church affiliation, he made the comment he had never witnessed the type of love provided by the chaplains and requested follow-up BGEA materials to help him through this crucial time in his life.
*Linda’s name has been changed at her request.
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