Local organizations ready to respond to areas hit by Hurricane Matthew

Local group seeks to help people in Haiti

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chaplains with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association want to get to Haiti as soon as possible after Hurricane Matthew hits, but extreme damage could keep them out of the worst-hit areas for days.

“We’re praying that God will help prepare us for the worst,” said Jack Munday, international director for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.

Chaplains across the U.S. are ready to respond and bring something that could be harder to replace than material items -- hope.

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“Ensuring them God hasn’t forgotten them, that people care, people are praying for them. It’s an amazing thing to see people encouraged at that level, that time in their life,” Munday said at a news conference Tuesday.

The most powerful hurricane in 11 years is battering Haiti, and reports of flooding and damage are already coming in. Munday said missionaries may not be able to get to the most damaged areas immediately.

“That’s because of the safety concerns. Power lines being down and that type of thing,” he said.

Chaplains with the Rapid Response Team were in the Caribbean country back in within 24 hours after a deadly and devastating earthquake hit in 2010. They stayed for more than two years.

The rapid response team has already deployed about 15 times so far this year to natural disasters and terrorism-related incidents.

“It’s been a busy year to say the least,” Munday said.

Like many other organizations, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is waiting to see where volunteers are needed after the storm moves out. In the meantime, the team is asking you to pray for those in the path of the storm and for the teams around the world who are ready to help.

The Charlotte Salvation Army is also sending help to areas that will be hit by the storm. It will deploy a team Wednesday morning to Georgetown, South Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Matthew.