A Flight of Compassion: BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse Send Aid to China

By   •   May 23, 2008   •   Topics:

The two organizations, which are headed by Franklin Graham, sent from Charlotte, N.C., this morning $1 million in relief supplies to victims of a devastating May 12 earthquake.

Nearly 5 million people in China are in temporary housing following the 7.9 magnitude temblor. The official death toll has risen to over 50,000 with more than 288,000 people reported injured and another 29,328 missing.

Speaking to representatives from the Chinese Embassy, local pastors and other dignitaries at Charlotte Douglas Airport, Graham said: “This planeload of supplies comes from the gifts of thousands of Christians and churches across the United States. The plane goes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Graham then presented Zhang Ping with a Bible on behalf of the churches and Christians “from our country to your country.”

“Not only are we praying for the people of China and those suffering from the catastrophe,” Graham added, “but we want this airlift to give them hope and let them know they aren’t alone in their time of need.”

The airlift includes 2,100 rolls of plastic sheeting for temporary shelter material and six water filtration systems–each with the capability of producing some 10,000 gallons of clean water per day, medical supplies, hygiene kits and blankets.

After stopping in Alaska, the plane will arrive in Chengdu around midnight local time Saturday. The supplies will be immediately offloaded and trucked into the affected area, where they will be distributed through in-country church partners.

Zhang Ping, minister counselor of congressional affairs, Embassy of People’s Republic of China, accepted the aid on behalf of his country: “I wish to pay special tribute to Samaritan’s Purse and the BGEA. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Your sympathy, support and donations will be forwarded immediately to our people back home to give them the encouragement needed to hang on until these difficulties are over.”

He added, “Your generosity enables us to reach out to more people in need and light some hope inside survivors through the long, cold and wet nights. Please accept our respect and appreciation for what you have done.”

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory also expressed his gratitude for the assistance: “To Franklin Graham, to the Billy Graham ministry, and to Samaritan’s Purse, I just want to say thank you for your incredible outreach. Here at a time of incredible crisis in the country of China, you are again called to action – to help people who are suffering. You are doing it from your heart, with the grace of God.”

The mayor added that he is “so proud” that Charlotte is the home base to bring these things to China.

On the Ground as it Happened

Graham, who was meeting with government and church leaders in Beijing, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai during the quake, described to the media his experience: “Even as far away as we were, it shook the ground. The devastation is horrific.”

The people in China need help, Graham continued. “They also need our prayers. You have millions of people displaced and many are still missing. This is just a small amount of help and they need much more.”

This plane goes with our prayers, he added. “We pray that every roll of plastic, every drop of water that goes into the purification system, every bit of medicine that we are sending will bring aid and hope to those who don’t have much hope.”

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