How did our Rapid Response Ministry start? Please read on....
In a matter of hours, victims are faced with many life-changing decisions and necessary actions which will affect their lives for years to come. The first week following a disaster is a critical window of opportunity for victims and disaster-relief workers to bond together for the good of a victim’s family and strength of the community. Our Rapid Response team was created to be pivotal in such times.
Typically, it takes Eight Days of Hope 4-6 months to respond to a community’s disaster needs. This falls squarely in the second, and possibly last, wave of help. Until now, Eight Days of Hope has not been able to offer any immediate relief, only assistance in disaster-recovery.
When a tornado hit Tupelo, MS, the hometown of Eight Days of Hope, local leaders saw first-hand the need for ministry immediately after a disaster strikes. President Steve Tybor and Vice President Wayne VanLandingham were inspired to take action along with many other faithful Eight Days of Hope volunteers. One of these was four year veteran leader Chris Chiles of Beaverdam, VA who drove 13 hours to help Tupelo residents clear the thousands of tons of trees that the tornado had left in its wake. An accomplished home builder in his own right, Chris had already launched a disaster-relief organization in Virginia to address local needs. After serving a few days in Tupelo, he felt God prompting him to become more active in disaster-relief on a national scale.
At the same time, the Executive Leadership Team of Eight Days of Hope felt God leading them down the path of starting a new national disaster-relief ministry and asked Chris to lead it. When the two met and shared the experiences that God had orchestrated, the Rapid Response division was born.
The primary goal of our Rapid Response team is to show the Love of Jesus Christ to disaster victims 48-72 hours after a disaster strikes anywhere in the contiguous 48 states. The means to meeting this goal will be through clearing debris, tarping roofs, gutting water damaged homes and salvaging personal property. These are the most basic immediate actions necessary to preserve property and livelihood. In so doing, the volunteers seek to build bonds with home owners, community leaders and other disaster relief organizations for immediate relief and in hope of laying a foundation for future disaster-recovery efforts.
If you are interested in volunteering, please click the "get involved" button on the main page and enter in your email address. We will contact you every time we have a trip!