Chaplains answering the ‘God questions’ after Hurricane Harvey

By Cicely Corry & Frank King | Published: August 31, 2017

“Though we all anticipated the impact of Harvey, there’s no way to overstate the ferocity of a storm like this.” —Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team ministering in Texas.

The unimaginable swath of destruction left by Hurricane Harvey in Texas has left residents shocked and full of fear, according to Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT).

“They’re concerned whether or not they’ll have a home to move back into,” he said. “In some cases, they’ve left medications behind. In some cases, they’ve had to leave pets behind.

“This is a terrible, terrible situation for people to have to live with.”

Hoping to offer those affected some comfort, RRT chaplains are now in Texas to provide emotional and spiritual care to residents, first responders and volunteers. Canadian chaplains, and our specially designed Mobile Ministry Center truck are on standby mode, waiting to be deployed.

“So many times, people start asking the ‘God questions,'” Munday explained. “We don’t pretend to know all the answers, but we know Who does.

With Samaritan's Purse volunteers working in the background, Rapid Response Team chaplains take a moment to pray with a homeowner affected by Harvey in Victoria, Texas.

“When we talk to people, it makes no difference who they are or their religious background,” he continued. “They still need to know that God loves them, and that’s our mission in a time like this: to help bring them comfort.”

The ministry is assessing is working alongside Samaritan’s Purse volunteers, who are already helping homeowners in areas that suffered only minor damage.

Munday assured his chaplains are “in this for the long haul.

“We’re there to provide that emotional and spiritual care, to encourage them, to support them and help them any way we can,” he said. “This is a time of incredible tragedy, and for many, this could be the darkest hour of their life.

“… You can replace the home. You can replace the furniture,” Munday added, "but only God can change the heart."

As the RRT has seen while deploying in similar events, many people are in need well before tragedy strikes.

“There are a lot of lonely people. And our records would tell us that 80 percent of the people we’ve talked to following a disaster such as this already had a personal disaster in their lives,” Munday explained.

“All around us, there are people who are suffering, and it’s welcome [from those affected] to know that people care.”

Please continue to pray for those affected by the wrath of Hurricane Harvey as well as for Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains in the area. And please support this ministry financially. After prayer, it’s the best way for you to be part of showing God’s love to people in despair.