Dozens of chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) are on the ground in Lviv, Ukraine, offering hope and providing comfort and compassion to families who have been forced to flee their homes. The team of crisis-trained chaplains are serving alongside medical personnel with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian disaster relief organization that is operating an Emergency Field Hospital and a triage clinic near a busy train station.
“In a crisis like this, the greatest need is spiritual. These chaplains are ministering to people who are hurting and have lost everything,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. “Even though chaplains don’t have all the answers to every question a person may ask, they’re able to share the hope that we have in Jesus Christ and remind people that God hasn’t forgotten them and He loves them.”
The international team includes two U.S.-based chaplains, one from Charlotte, North Carolina, and the other from Washington state, as well as approximately 30 Ukrainian men and women who are helping meet the emotional and spiritual needs of those who are suffering. BG-RRT is partnering with local churches to equip even more chaplains to respond to the disaster.
Josh Holland, international director of BG-RRT, spent close to a week in Ukraine assisting with training efforts. “I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after seeing how desperate and broken these people are,” said Holland. “Even though so many Ukrainians are experiencing the worst circumstances they’ve ever been through, they’re also encountering the love of Jesus Christ through these chaplains who are crying with them, praying with them, and just listening to their stories.”
For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit the BG-RRT press kit or BillyGraham.org/RRT. Updates can also be found at 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 550 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.
– 30 –