By BosNewsLife Americas Service
NEW YORK, USA (BosNewsLife)– Crisis-trained chaplains of the organization founded by famed evangelist Billy Graham rushed to devastated regions in the United States as the death toll of super storm Sandy climbed to at least 39.
Additionally, “Millions are without power, thousands are in shelters, and countless others are cut off from their families and loved ones,” the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) told BosNewsLife in a statement Tuesday, October 30.
It said that the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains are “now en route to the areas devastated” by super storm Sandy.
“These volunteer chaplains will offer emotional and spiritual support to people whose lives
are in turmoil.”
They arrived amid reports that millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday, October 30, without electricity. New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air as Sandy steamed inland, still delivering punishing wind and rain.
Many of the 39 killed were victims of falling trees.
Over eight million across America’s East were without power.
Airlines canceled over 15,000 flights worldwide and The Associated Press news agency predicted that it could be days before the mess is untangled and passengers can get where they’re going.
The storm also disrupted the presidential campaign with just a week to go before Election Day.
Amid the turmoil, BGEA said it believes its chaplains are prepared to help.
“The BGEA has trained RRT chaplains in 48 states and several countries. So far this year they’ve responded to wildfires, tornadoes, the Colorado shooting, Hurricane Isaac, and other crisis situations,” the organization added.
It said however that it had urged Christians to pray and support the chaplains as they “share the love of Christ with people in desperate need of hope.”
Updates were expected via website BillyGraham.org/crisisresponse where supporters were also urged to “prayerfully consider a donation to this important ministry.”
The destruction expected from Hurricane Sandy, targeting the country’s most densely populated and developed region, was expected to make it the most expensive storm to hit the country since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Damage estimates range as high as $100 billion. Bloomberg news agency quoted credit agency Moody’s as predicting that the gross domestic product loss from closed businesses and fewer shoppers could be about $10 billion a day between Washington and New York alone.
BGEA said its RTT chaplains are describing it as the “largest Hurricane in Atlantic Ocean History”, with massive damage reported throughout the northeast U.S. “It is historic,” said Jack Munday, director of the RTT team. However, “We’re sharing God’s love and hope, which He can only provide in a time like this.”