In the aftermath of terrorist attacks on Tuesday (March 22, 2016) in Belgium, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is sending chaplains to provide emotional and spiritual care to those affected by the tragedies, reports Billygraham.org
“The entire city has been traumatised,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Rapid Response Team. “They are suffering grief, and our mission would be to work alongside the churches of Brussels, to follow the model of Christ where He went to the people.”
The goal is to share the hope of Jesus with an area that experienced utter tragedy on Tuesday when terrorists detonated bombs in the Brussels international airport and nearby metro station. At least 30 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded.
This is the Rapid Response Team’s first deployment to the capital of Belgium, and it will be a joint deployment with the international Rapid Response Team offices from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Jeff Naber and Ray Garcia, two United States chaplains who previously served in deployments to Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, are in the process of heading to Brussels now. They hope to be in the Belgium capital by this weekend and stay for two weeks. In addition to working alongside the local churches, the chaplains initially will focus on being available for prayer at memorial sites.
Munday said his team is looking forward to working with churches in Brussels as the Rapid Response Team did with churches in Paris following terrorist attacks there in November 2015. Then, French-speaking chaplains offered a ministry of presence after the France capital suffered a series of coordinated deadly bombings all linked to terrorism.
“[The Paris churches] were willing to gather and meet,” Munday said. “When chaplains met with them and encouraged them as to what they could do, they got excited about that. They developed prayer teams, went with the chaplains. We would hope that this would be the response of the church in Brussels as well. We recognize that not everyone would feel comfortable ministering on the streets, but we would hope there would be strong prayer support.”
On social media, where ISIS and its supporters are celebrating the Brussels attacks with #Brusselsburns, Christians from around the world are using the Web to offer prayers for the city, the victims and their families, reports Charisma News.
“Pray for Belgium” and “Pray for Brussels” were among the most popular Twitter slogans hours after the attacks.
The staff at CBN News is also praying for God’s peace, justice, and protection in Brussels, as well as for the families of the victims, #CBNNewsprayingforBrussels.
Christian leader Kenneth Copeland tweeted, “Please pray for Belgium. We will not allow terror to reign. We declare Jesus is Lord over Belgium! #Brussels.”
Rev Franklin Graham also offered his support to those affected by the deadly attacks, saying on Twitter, “Pray for the people of Brussels, Belgium after today’s terror attacks including a suicide bombing at airport and explosion at metro station.”
On Facebook, Joyce Meyer ministries said, “This morning three explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium killing 34 people and wounding 170 more. Today, we stand in prayer with the people of Belgium knowing that God is our hope.”
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) also tweeted its support for Brussels saying, “Terror strikes the heart of Europe yet again. We stand with #Brussels & pray for the victims & their families.”
On Instagram, more than 85,000 #prayforBrussels pictures have been posted.
A popular set of memes of the famous Belgian cartoon character Tintin as well as images incorporating the black, yellow and red of the Belgian flag are also being posted online to honor the victims of the terror attacks.
Meanwhile, evangelists Rick Joyner and Franklin Graham have warned that America needs to protect itself from anticipated jihadi terrorist attacks by controlling Muslim migration, reports Christian Today.
“We can expect these attacks to increase, hitting cities in multiple places at once for maximum impact. The US is the most prized of all targets for Islamic terrorists, and we have been made the most vulnerable by our own government policies that have failed to protect our borders,” Joyner wrote on his Facebook page. “It is likely that we will soon be looking back and marveling at how naïve we have been to allow this, but until there is change we must all learn to be vigilant, becoming watchmen for our cities and communities.”
Abiding in the Prince of Peace
Joyner said people must resist acting out in fear, and find security in the will of God. “Knowing what to recognise as a threat is important, but far more important is keeping our eyes on the Lord, abiding in Him, and not letting anything steal the peace we have by abiding in the Prince of Peace. It is as we abide in His peace that we can more easily be directed by Him, and effectively pray for our communities, law enforcement, and our leaders,” he said.
As for Graham, he said the Islamists have already warned the public that they should expect more terror attacks, and they should heed their threats seriously.
“I have long supported a temporary halt to immigration, especially for those coming from Muslim countries, until we have a vetting program that works and we can know who these people are,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “If we can’t get an accurate background check, they don’t come in. It’s as simple as that.”
Graham suspects that the Brussels, Paris and 9/11 New York attacks will happen again “inside our borders” unless there is a change done. He criticised the current administration for lowering US standards against Islamic terrorism, warning that America is in great danger now because of “a void in leadership.”