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International – French tragedy response

September 2016

Nice has welcomed the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, an international coalition of crisis-trained chaplains.

The team journeyed to France to offer emotional and spiritual care on the streets of Nice, following the horrific terror attack on Bastille Day, in July. More than 80 people died in the violent attack, with dozens more seriously injured.

Ian Macleod, head of the Billy Graham UK rapid response volunteer chaplain team, said, ‘Our hearts go out to the families and friends caught up in this tragedy and we are standing with the churches in Nice to provide a ministry of presence to those who want to talk, pray or grieve’.

Franklin Graham, president and chief executive of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, used Twitter to ask for prayer following the tragedy. The joint effort of the teams includes French-speaking chaplains. They were joined by newly trained chaplains from Paris and Brussels, cities that have also weathered terrorist attacks in recent months.

The deployment to Nice marks the fifth time in the last nine months the team has sent chaplains into areas hit by disaster. In November 2015, it joined an international team in Paris following the terrorist attacks, and, in January 2016, responded to flooding in the UK, in Shipley, West Yorkshire, and Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

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