The Samaritan's Purse president prayed at a destroyed school and met with homeowners to offer comfort and encouragement.
Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham visited storm-ravaged areas in Moore, Oklahoma, on Friday, seeing firsthand the damage from the terrible EF-5 tornado that devastated the Oklahoma City suburb.GiveGraham stopped at Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven children were killed in the storm. While he was there, a group of maintenance workers arrived with seven crosses. Each one had the name of a boy or girl that was lost. After erecting the crosses at the site, they asked Graham to pray with them.
“We know these children are in your arms, Lord,” Graham said. “We lift up their families to you for comfort and healing. Please bless this place.”
Graham also met and prayed with Steve and Robin Brown, a couple whose home was destroyed by the twister.
Steve Brown told Graham about his experiences during the disaster. The Browns went to the storm cellar with their son and dog. After the tornado passed, their neighbors and 21-year-old daughter, who was working at a nearby daycare, dug them out. They were only able to get it open about 18 inches, so they had to crawl out.
“Our emotions went from ‘we’re going to die’ to ‘how are we going to get out?’” Steve said. “But we knew God was with us.”
Samaritan’s Purse volunteers were helping the Browns on Friday, going through the debris to recover valuable belongings.
“I feel like these orange shirts have all the energy I want to have,” he said.
Steve was especially grateful when we found videos of his children when they were babies.
“That’s the stuff I could never replace,” he said. “We’ve got so much stuff that I never thought we’d see again. I feel like I’ve been more than taken care of.”
Graham also encouraged volunteers working with Samaritan’s Purse to bring relief and comfort to storm victims.
“There’s no way we could do this if it weren’t for men and women like you,” he told a group of 16 from Wisconsin.
Graham was joined by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren.
Van Susteren, whose program, On The Record, is the top-rated show on cable news in its time slot, is a friend of the ministry. She joined Graham to see our work with Hurricane Sandy victims late last year. She also has traveled to South Sudan to report on Samaritan’s Purse programs in the war-torn region, and has distributed Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts to children in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Graham visited on the first day that Samaritan’s Purse was allowed into the affected area to begin helping homeowners. Volunteers were out in storm-ravaged neighborhoods helping tornado victims by cleaning up debris, salvaging personal belongings, cutting up and removing downed trees, and tarping damaged roofs.
“When you look at the life of Jesus Christ, every person who came to him with a need, He healed them,” Graham said. “Moore needs our help, and they need to know that God hasn’t forgotten them. We’ll be here for months, maybe a year or more.”