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Many areas across Florida have been completely destroyed following Hurricane Ian. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is deploying teams to help clear debris and minister to those who need prayer.
The hurricane made landfall as a Category 4 storm on the island of Cayo Costa near Fort Myers. Millions of people lost power, storm surge wiped out homes and left entire neighborhoods underwater. People are still being rescued from their homes and Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT says it is a, "tragic, catastrophic situation."
"As we send chaplains to listen to people, to pray with people, to just be a shoulder people can cry on as they're processing their loss, we want to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in Jesus Christ," Holland says.
Now thousands of Floridians will need help rebuilding their homes. The organization is sending two mobile ministry centers which are expected to arrive on Friday. They have a team of 20 chaplains who can deploy disaster and emergency services across America.
The Florida National Guard has been activated for search and rescue efforts. Hurricane Ian is one of the strongest storms in Florida's history. Holland say, "As we learn of its magnitude, our hearts are heavy and we are earnestly praying for the people in the path of this hurricane."
More than 700 people have been rescued in Charlotte and Lee County. There are 42,000 linemen responding to the 2.5 million reported power outages.
Americans are stepping up, donating $10 million in just 24 hours to the Florida Disaster Fund. Florida officials are saying the death toll has reached 21 people. "When you look at some of these things, like you see a house totally washed out and it's nothing but a concrete slab on Ft. Meyers beach, you just pray to God no one was in that," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a briefing.
Hurricane Ian -
What 15 ft storm surge looks like ...
(credit to Max Olson Chasing)
pic.twitter.com/OqbFkQxD8s— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) September 30, 2022
BGEA says hundreds of chaplains are on standby to help in the days, weeks and months to come. Samaritan's Purse has also deployed teams of people to help. They are asking for any volunteers to step up and "serve as the hands and feet of Jesus."
They are asking for people to pray for the safety of the residents and for their teams. Pray for the local churches who are facing their own losses even as they minister to those who are hurting and broken right now.
Shelby Lindsay is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.
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