Billy Graham chaplains supporting victims of Okanagan floods

By Frank King | Published: July 13, 2017

Billy Graham chaplains are providing emotional and spiritual support to those hurt by flooding on the Okanagan Indian Band reserve near Vernon.

As residents of the Okanagan Indian Band reserve survey the damage from extensive flooding, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada has sent Rapid Response Team chaplains to the area to provide them with emotional and spiritual support.

Heavy rainfall caused Okanagan Lake to flood in May. More than 400 homes were damaged in the reserve, 200 of them badly enough to force residents to leave. Recovery work is only possible now because floodwaters have receded.

“While responding to physical needs after a disaster is vital, responding to emotional and spiritual needs is equally important,” said Rapid Response Team Manager Merle Doherty. “That’s why our chaplains encourage and pray with people in distress, including affected residents and volunteers who are helping with the clean-up.”

The Mobile Ministry Center has been deployed and is set up at Alexis Park Church in Vernon. It will provide a place for first responders to come and get away from the chaos of the disaster, as well as give residents the opportunity to receive prayer and a sympathetic listening ear from chaplains.

“While responding to physical needs after a disaster is vital, responding to emotional and spiritual needs is equally important.”
-Rapid Response Team Manager Merle Doherty

Our chaplains often work alongside our sister organization, Samaritan’s Purse, which is responding to the flood by sending one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers stationed in Calgary. That unit will equip and train local volunteers to help flood victims.

Working with Samaritan’s Purse, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have responded to flooding across Canada, including the devastating flooding in 2013 in southern Alberta, and last summer’s catastrophic wildfire in Fort McMurray, AB.

Chaplains have also served in the name of Jesus Christ after tragedies such as the 2014 murder of five people in Calgary, European terrorist attacks in Paris, Nice, Munich, Berlin, and Brussels, and the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting.

You can be part of this vital work when you partner with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada through your donations and prayers. Please join us.

If you would like to support our Billy Graham Rapid Response Team ministry through your prayers and financial support, you can donate at BillyGraham.ca/RRT or by calling 1-800-293-3717