A Conversation With Franklin Graham on Afghanistan, Remembering 9/11

By   •   September 1, 2021

With Afghanistan back in the hands of the Taliban as the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Cissie Graham Lynch sat down with her father, Franklin Graham, to discuss the chaos that’s erupted in the news.

Listen to the full interview with Franklin Graham on this latest episode of the ‘Fearless’ podcast with Cissie Graham Lynch:


“Everything seems so heavy, and it’s been hard to process … what’s going on in Afghanistan,” Lynch said, adding that she’s been “emotional” watching the news.

Her brother, 16-year Army veteran Edward Graham, served six deployments in Afghanistan.

>>Edward Graham addresses the heartbreaking chaos in Afghanistan and urges prayer

Yet, the heaviness of past weeks hasn’t taken God by surprise, Lynch said, whether it’s unrest overseas, a destructive earthquake in Haiti or an increase in COVID cases.

After taking a break from her Fearless podcast over the summer, she returned this week to have a conversation with her father who’s ministered to people around the globe and helped birth the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team in the wake of 9/11.

“I don’t have hope, Cissie, for the world in which we live. My hope is in God,” Franklin Graham said. “But we do know that as long as we’re in this world, we want to try to make a difference. We want to be salt and light in this dark world. We want to be an example for Christ. We want to reach out and love people and care for people and do it in the name of Jesus Christ so that we can win people to Christ.

“And that’s what we’re called to do. Jesus told us to go into all the world to make disciples of all nations. … That command is still enforced. He has not rescinded that order.”

Lynch was in high school when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. Her dad was at Ground Zero a couple of days later and saw so many people searching for their loved ones.

“People didn’t have hope. People were not just afraid, but they didn’t have any hope,” he said. “I realized after that—that we needed to have something at the Billy Graham Association where we could respond to … those kinds of crises.”

It was that event that led to the formation of the Rapid Response Team, now a network of 1,500 trained chaplains ready to deploy to disaster at a moment’s notice. They offer compassion, prayer and comfort in the worst of times.

Though two decades have passed since 9/11, people across the country are still in need of prayer.

Three days after 9/11, the only plane in the sky was the one bringing Billy Graham to Washington, D.C., to lead the country in prayer from the National Cathedral.

“Your grandfather went up there to reassure our nation that God has not forgotten,” Franklin Graham told Lynch on the podcast.

And that’s the assurance we all could use today following one tragedy after another.

As Billy Graham shared from the pulpit of the National Cathedral on that somber day, “We’ve seen so much that brings tears to our eyes and makes us all feel a sense of anger. But God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.”

Hear more memories of 9/11 and encouragement for the days ahead on this episode of Fearless.