These two segments aired on different dates:
In driving around the burned out businesses in Ferguson, MO, a big, colorful, cheerful 40 foot truck of ministry is difficult to ignore. It is the mobile headquarters of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (www.billygraham.org/rrt) and the upwards of 30 volunteer chaplains – distinguished by their blue BEGA Rapid Response shirts – who have been and are visiting Ferguson to listen, comfort, and serve. For weeks now (in late 2014) it has been parked in front of the destroyed Pondarosa Restaurant in 9200 block of West Florissant in Ferguson.
In these two brief radio segments, Jeff Naber tells a series of moving and exciting stories of the works of God experienced by the visiting chaplains, a number of whom are available in Ferguson at any given time. They comfort, console, listen, wave at the cars passing by, tell one-to-one of God’s love, give frequent hugs, and lead people to saving faith in Jesus Christ. They … and the ministry truck … intend to be in Ferguson until early 2015.
Telling the moving series of stories is Jeff Neber, Manager of Training of the 1,700 volunteer chaplains of the BEGA Rapid Response Team … supported by his wife Terry in the Bott Radio Network studio in St; Louis. Before accepting this ministry role, Jeff Naber was in law enforcement in North Carolina for 35 years.
He is thankful for the response and acceptance of their ministry. “Ferguson folks now seem to be drawn to us.”
Instead of asking people “How are you?” chaplains have found that they receive more expressions of people’s real feelings when they ask “How are you holding up?”
The website of the Billy Graham Rapid Response website (www.billygraham.org/rrt) aids understanding the ministry role. It is “Sharing Hope in Crisis.”
“A ministry of crisis trained volunteer chaplains who deploy in the aftermath of a disaster to respond to the emotional and spiritual needs of disaster victims and people in crisis….
“From the ashes of 9/11, the Rapid Response Team ministry was developed to share Christ in the midst of crisis and disasters. BGEA currently has chaplains in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. These volunteer chaplains are carefully selected and trained to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ and appropriately share God’s hope through the One who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).”
Joan and I live very near Ferguson and pass through Ferguson nearly every day. We worship and fellowship in the First Baptist Church of Ferguson. We are all very thankful to God for the full range of loving, biblical, ministry as expressed through the visiting Billy Graham Rapid Response Team … helping in Jesus Name … now in Ferguson.