After practicing as a parish nurse for 7 years my position at the church ended since the church leadership was restructured. Consequently, I began to explore and see where I might serve and use my parish nursing skills. I became aware that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) had a need for Volunteer Chaplains.I made an application and took some additional courses offered by BGEA to better prepare myself to offer spiritual and emotional care to people in crisis.
I have been serving with the Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains for 7 years now. RRT chaplains go to areas that have experienced natural disasters (floods, fires,etc), shootings and other traumatic events. We provide support to emergency responders, persons impacted by the negative events, and for those who are involved in clean up, remediation and rebuilding. Most of the requests to deploy are in Canada but some have responded internationally to such events as Katrina, 9-11, and the terrorist events in Paris and Belgium in recent months. RRT chaplains also accompany Samaritans Purse workers to events.
Currently there are approximately 120 RRT chaplains in Canada but the goal is for 200.
I have found the work to be a rewarding ministry that matches my skills. It is an invaluable ministry to the hurting.
The Canadian head office is located in Calgary, Alberta. The contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org