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Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Sends Crisis-Trained Chaplains to Texas and Mississippi Following Deadly Tornadoes

Contact: Erik Ogren, 704-401-2117, eogren@bgea.org 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 30, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- In the wake of widespread and deadly storms surrounding the Christmas holiday, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has dispatched crisis-trained chaplains to help people in Texas and Mississippi. 

Jack Munday, the international director of the Rapid Response Team, said his heart goes out to all those who are suffering in the middle of the holiday season. "It's not only the immediate devastation and grief that they're experiencing now, but happening in the Christmas season like this, we can anticipate next Christmas and the following Christmas will be triggers for the grief and the loss to come back again."

According to news reports, officials in Texas believe that up to 1,450 homes were impacted by at least nine tornadoes, including an EF-4 twister in Garland, Texas. More than 10 people have died as a result of the storms, with many more injured.

In Mississippi, 11 people were killed across four counties and more than 600 homes have been destroyed, damaged or affected, according to initial reports.

"Join me in praying especially for those who have lost loved ones and those whose homes have been destroyed," said Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, on his Facebook page. "Even in this trying time, pray that all will know: 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' (Psalm 46:1)."

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is deploying in coordination with Samaritan's Purse, the Christian disaster relief organization also headed by Franklin Graham. Together the two ministries will address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who have been affected.

For more information on the ministry, 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/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 a nationwide network of chaplains in 48 states who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 200 disaster sites, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.