Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are deploying to Jefferson City, Mo., following a destructive EF-3 tornado that impacted an area of approximately three square miles, damaging more than 150 structures. The twister was one of more than a dozen that tore through the state earlier this week.
“Chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are on their way to comfort and pray with survivors and first responders there,” said Franklin Graham on Friday. “We want them to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them. Pray also for the emergency personnel and the chaplains as they work long hours to care for those who are suffering.”
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is deploying in coordination with Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian disaster relief organization also headed by Graham. Together the two ministries will address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who have been affected.
“Many people have been devastated by this terrifying series of storms. Everything they owned and have worked for was gone in an instant,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “We’ll offer the hope and love of Jesus Christ and a listening ear to those who had their world turned upside down. We’ll let them know that even in their darkest days, God loves them.”
The tornado struck almost exactly three years after Graham visited Jefferson City, which is Missouri’s state capital, as part of his 2016 50-state Decision America Tour. “We prayed for their community, state, and our nation, and I shared the Gospel message,” said Graham. “Today, will you pray for them?”
In addition to Jefferson City, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is continuing to monitor other areas impacted by the recent spate of storms, assessing opportunities to come alongside and serve communities in crisis.
For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit www.billygraham.org/rrt. Updates can also be found at www.facebook.com/RRTChaplains.
About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed by Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has since grown into an international network of chaplains in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 300 disaster sites, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.