Franklin Graham Update | August

Samaritan's Purse volunteers helping the flood victims of Kentucky in Jesus' Name.
Franklin Graham alt text

Kentucky Suffers Another Tragedy

Dear Friend,
More deadly storms have ravaged Kentucky. Eight months after tornadoes tore through the western end of the state, catastrophic summer storms have flooded mountain communities hundreds of miles to the east, taking at least 37 lives.

The devastation is so overwhelming that officials are still trying to account for the dead and the missing. "We're going to be finding bodies for weeks," Gov. Andy Beshear said. He called for prayer for the survivors and the first responders, who have been searching for victims in muddy debris-clogged creeks. The water rose so quickly that many families were trapped. It was heartbreaking to hear that four children were swept out of their parents' arms after a flood washed away their mobile home. More than 1,300 people were rescued by boats and helicopters.

Samaritan's Purse deployed two of our tractor-trailer disaster relief units to eastern Kentucky to do what we can to comfort the survivors and help families get back in their homes. We also sent medical equipment and supplies to replenish clinics that were flooded.

One of our units is set up in Breathitt County, where Samaritan's Purse rebuilt five flooded houses and replaced eight mobile homes last year. The church that served as our previous host was flooded and needs our help.

Franklin Graham in Scammon Bay, Alaska
Helping our neighbors: My son Edward Graham prays with flood survivors in Floyd County, Kentucky.
In addition to our flood relief work, Samaritan's Purse is still working in Mayfield, where we are building new houses for tornado survivors. We also are responding to floods in St. Louis.

We are thankful that so many have volunteered to join Samaritan's Purse and help these flood victims in the Name of Jesus Christ. After all that they have been through, we want to meet their spiritual needs even as we help clean out their flooded houses to get them ready for repairs.

Kentucky will need our help and prayers for months to come. At the same time our volunteers are working there, we are also preparing for hurricane season. If you or your church can help, please sign up at

Samaritan's Purse builds a church in Scammon Bay, Alaska

Building a Church on America's Last Frontier

Alaska has hundreds of frontier settlements that are unconnected by roads. I have just returned from one of them, Scammon Bay, a community of 500 Yupik Eskimos living near the Bering Sea.

From an American perspective, this is the "ends of the earth," closer to Russia than to Anchorage. You can only get there by bush plane or by boat. Jobs are scarce, and people live by fishing, hunting, and gathering berries. "In a village like this, the only way you survive is by helping one another," Pastor Jason Stromstad said. "That's how you get through the winters."

Franklin Graham in Scammon Bay, Alaska
Villagers in Scammon Bay expressed their thanks for the church facility Samaritan’s Purse is building. The Quonset hut tents in the background are where our volunteers live while working on the project.

The Covenant Church previously met in a drafty 50-year-old facility that had no restrooms and could not accommodate large crowds of villagers. The congregation couldn't afford to build, and Samaritan's Purse was glad to help, so that more people will be able to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Scammon Bay, Alaska
Materials and tools had to be delivered by ocean-going barges from Seattle or Anchorage.
This summer, our volunteers have built a 5,000-square-foot facility (pictured above) with a sanctuary, classrooms, and spaces for fellowship. It isn't easy to build a church in a place like Scammon Bay, which is 500 miles from the nearest construction warehouse. Materials and tools had to be delivered by ocean-going barges from Seattle or Anchorage. There's no dock in Scammon Bay, so supplies are transferred to smaller barges that land on the beach.

Samaritan's Purse has built churches in nine Alaskan villages since 2007, and it is always encouraging to hear how the Lord uses these facilities to bring people to salvation through the power of the Gospel. “For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 13:47).

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Scammon Bay, Alaska: There are no roads leading into or out of Scammon Bay—only barges, cargo ships, and airplanes.
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Our construction crews have made great progress this summer, and we look forward to dedicating the new church building before winter.
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Construction materials and practices in Alaska take into account the severe weather and temperature changes buildings will encounter throughout the year.
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Built on a Triodetic foundation, the steel frame moves and adapts to the drastic freezing-thawing movement of the tundra.


While I was in Alaska, we also welcomed former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, (pictured below), who greeted couples participating in Operation Heal Our Patriots, our ministry to strengthen the marriages of wounded veterans.

It was a blessing to have the Pences go out of their way to spend time with these couples—what an encouragement it was to them!

Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen.
Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen were a great encouragement to our Operation Heal Our Patriots families in Alaska!

Thank you for your prayers and support for the work of Samaritan's Purse. May God bless you.

Franklin Graham

Ways to Help

Ways You Can Help


Please pray for the people of Kentucky who have lost so much in these destructive floods, and that they would put their hope in Christ in the difficult days ahead.

U.S. Disaster Relief
Your gift will help us clean out mud and debris and then repair or rebuild homes of flood victims. Volunteer at
U.S. Disaster Relief
Alaska Projects
Your gift will help Samaritan's Purse continue to build churches and other ministry facilities to bring the hope of the Gospel to native villages on the Alaskan frontier.
Alaska Projects
Where Most Needed
Samaritan’s Purse is working in more than 100 nations to help relieve suffering, save lives, and share the hope of the Gospel. Your gift to Where Most Needed equips us with the resources—including personnel, materials, supporting services, and equipment—to fulfill our mission of relief and evangelism.
Where Most Needed