Relaymedia

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Deployed to Texas Tornado Site

( [email protected] ) May 16, 2013 07:06 AM EDT
Crisis-trained Billy Graham Evangelistic Association chaplains were deployed  to help minister to those affected by the "year's deadliest" tornadoes that ripped through Hood County Wednesday night.
Tornadoes destroyed and damaged hundreds of homes in Granbury, Texas. Richard Rodriguez/ Reuters

Crisis-trained Billy Graham Evangelistic Association chaplains were deployed to help minister to those affected by the "year's deadliest" tornadoes that ripped through Hood County Wednesday night.

The residents of Granbury, a city just southeast of Dallas, woke up Thursday to what seemed like a war zone. At least six people were killed, hundreds injured and hundreds homeless. More than 100 homes were damaged or destroyed.

“It’s always so difficult for survivors to comprehend the tragedy of a tornado, because everything happens so fast,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “You wake up in the morning with all of your plans before you, and by the time you go to bed at night your entire world has changed and everything you once knew has been destroyed. Please pray for those who lost everything in this series of tornadoes, and especially for the loved ones of the victims.”

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is deploying in coordination with Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, who is also president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Together the two ministries will seek to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those impacted by the storms.

The deployment to Texas will be the third tornado response undertaken by the team in 2013, following efforts in Petal, Miss., and Shuqualak, Miss. The team also deployed to West, Texas, following the fertilizer plant explosion in April.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of Christian chaplains across 48 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has responded to more than 155 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings.