Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) are deploying to Sulphur, Oklahoma, after a massive tornado devastated the community of 5,000 on Sunday. According to news reports, more than 20 tornadoes impacted Oklahoma, resulting in approximately 100 reported injuries, four deaths, and untold property damage.
“The swath of devastation that has ripped through Oklahoma is stunning and heartbreaking,” said Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT. “The overwhelming sense of loss – for those who lost their homes, and especially for those who lost loved ones – will be nearly unbearable. We want the people of Sulphur and the surrounding region to know that Jesus loves them, that we are praying for them, and we will be standing beside them.”
BG-RRT chaplains arrived April 30th and began ministry to the community May 1st.
The deployment to Oklahoma comes one day after the organization announced deployments in Iowa and Nebraska following tornadoes that devastated the Omaha region on Friday.
In addition to these recent deployments, BG-RRT chaplains continue to minister in Slidell, Louisiana, and Rock Hill, South Carolina, after storms impacted both of those communities earlier this month. Chaplains are also offering hope and providing emotional comfort and spiritual care to families who have been forced to flee their homes in war-torn Ukraine.
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 800 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.