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Tornado Outbreak: Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Chaplains in Arkansas, Mississippi and Kansas

Two Additional Deployments Added to Previously Announced Effort in Mayflower, Ark.

Contact: Erik Ogren, 704-401-2117, eogren@bgea.org; Brent Rinehart, 704-401-2119, brinehart@bgea.org

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 29, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are in Louisville, Miss., and Baxter Springs, Kan., as part of the organization's response to the deadly and destructive series of tornadoes that cut through a large portion of the South and Midwest over the last few days. As previously reported by the ministry, chaplains are also on the ground in Mayflower, Ark.

"We're told to 'rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.' At this point there is not a lot of rejoicing, and there is a great amount of mourning through large portions of the United States," said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. "The destructive nature of this swarm of tornadoes has caused untold damage and pain. Our chaplains will come alongside those who are hurting to mourn with them and offer hope in the midst of the storm."

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team will deploy in coordination with Samaritan's Purse, a Christian disaster relief organization 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 tornadoes.

"I would ask for your prayers for all of those who have been affected by the tornadoes, in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, and the other states that took direct hits over the last 72 hours," added Munday. "Life will never be the same for thousands of families, and a sense of security they may have had before has been ripped away. They need our prayers now more than ever." The ministry is continuing to assess potential deployments in other areas, including Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed to more than 40 tornado disasters since its inception, including the deadly twisters in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo., during the historic storm season of 2011.

For more information on the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit www.billygraham.org/rrt. Updates can also be found at www.facebook.com/BGRapidResponseTeam.

About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has since grown into a nationwide network of chaplains in 48 states who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 175 disaster sites, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.