BGEA sends French-speaking relief teams to Paris

by Kelly Ledbetter, |
French-speaking, crisis-trained chaplains, like the man in the red jacket, are on the ground in Paris following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that left the city and the world reeling. | Billy Graham Evangelistic Association / SCREEN SHOT

PARIS (Christian Examiner) – The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has dispatched six French-speaking, crisis-trained chaplains to Paris to comfort and minister to Parisians after the devastating terror attacks on the city left over 120 dead and 350 wounded.

"Join me in praying for the French people," Franklin Graham said, "all those injured and the loved ones of the victims of these barbaric attacks." His words remind us that one of the greatest responses to crises is prayer.

On Graham's instruction, chaplains from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. were sent to Paris Monday to provide ministry and counseling in association with a French church, the BGEA site reported.

Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, said the purpose of the team was comfort and encouragement. "We want to encourage them, let them know we're here to support them," he said, adding he heard the Paris attacks described on television as the worst tragedy since World War II.

On Facebook, Graham called for immigration reform in response to the Syrian passport found near one of the terrorists. He faulted Islam for its "call to bring destruction and terror," listing several notable terror attacks since 9/11. "Islam has declared war on the world, and it's high time we acknowledge it and respond decisively," Graham said.

The Rapid Response Team was created after the terror attacks on the World Trade Centers on 9/11 to share Christ in the midst of crisis and disasters. Chaplains around the world are carefully selected and trained to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ and appropriately share Christ's message of hope and healing.

"We'll be talking with people on the streets, the storekeepers, the café workers to see how they're holding up," Munday said. "And to let them know that God hasn't forgotten them."

These chaplains represent the organization's first concerted international response since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Graham wrote ISIS wants to dominate the world: "They want to control us—they want to destroy us. I don't know about you, but I don't want to live under Islam. I will bow my knee to no one except Almighty God."

After calling for elected officials "willing to take the fight to the Islamic State," Graham stressed a need to join with international allies against ISIS.

"Our world is in great peril," Graham said. "We need to pray for God's mercy, His grace, and His protection. I pray that America will turn to God before it's too late."