Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains have deployed to the Bahamas and the Carolinas after Hurricane Dorian left utter destruction in its wake.
“[RRT chaplains] will be there to love on them, pray with them and be a source of hope through Jesus Christ,” said Cissie Graham Lynch, daughter of Franklin Graham.
For two days, the Category 5 storm—the strongest to ever hit the Bahamas—stalled over the nation of more than 700 islands. Grand Bahama and Great Abaco were the hardest hit and have reported “generational devastation.”
“It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,” said Lia Head-Rigby, founder of HeadKnowles, an international hurricane relief group. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”
As of Friday morning, the death toll in the Bahamas stood at 30 but is expected to rise significantly.
On Wednesday, Samaritan’s Purse sent a DC-8 plane filled with more than 30 tons of emergency supplies, such as household water filters and temporary shelter materials, to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. The following day, the organization airlifted its Emergency Field Hospital to the islands at the request of the World Health Organization and the government of the Bahamas. Working in tandem, Samaritan’s Purse is addressing victims’ physical needs, while crisis-trained chaplains are ministering to people’s spiritual and emotional needs.
“Please do continue to pray—specifically for those in the Bahamas,” said Josh Holland, RRT assistant director. “The death toll continues to rise. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is there, alongside Samaritan’s Purse, prepared to stay for the long haul, and prepared to share God’s hope and love with those who have been impacted in such a devastating way.”
After Dorian crept through the Bahamas, the southeast coast of the United States braced for impact. This morning Dorian, now a Category 1 storm, made landfall on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
“We have heard reports of a lot of tree damage, wind damage and flooding,” said Holland.
As of Friday afternoon, chaplains deployed to New Bern and Wilmington, North Carolina, as well as Horry County in South Carolina.
Above: Destruction from Hurricane Dorian at Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco Island, Bahamas.