Franklin Graham Update March

Franklin Graham visits with a survivor in Turkey, where Samaritan's Purse is running an Emergency Field Hospital

Franklin Graham Update March

Saving Lives,Sheltering Families in Turkey

Dear Friend,

I've just returned from the earthquake-ravaged region of Turkey, where Samaritan's Purse has set up an Emergency Field Hospital and is working around the clock to care for victims. The devastation is overwhelming, and the ground is still rumbling. Even as rescuers were still extracting survivors from the rubble, the death toll neared 50,000.

A gravely ill one-year-old Turkish boy

Yet the Lord is working through Samaritan's Purse to rescue men, women, and children from the brink of death, including one tiny patient whose case illustrates the challenges that survivors face. A 1-year-old boy struggling to breathe was brought into our intensive care unit. He was so sick after spending frigid nights in a makeshift tent that he probably would not have survived if not for the expert care of our doctors and nurses. Our medical team put him on oxygen and held him upright to help him breathe.

It's winter right now in Turkey, and many families who have lost their homes need warm places to live until their housing can be rebuilt. Samaritan's Purse is working to provide at least 3,000 families with warm tents. We have also offered to work with Turkish authorities to provide clean water and other emergency assistance.

a member of our medical team comforts a patient
Edward Graham holding a 1-year-old Turkish baby
BREATH OF LIFE: My son Edward Graham cradles a little baby who received life-saving treatment at our Emergency Field Hospital. The baby had to be held upright for several hours to keep him alive.

Our team at the Emergency Field Hospital in Turkey continues caring for patients suffering after the recent earthquakes. Read our latest article: Rescued from the Rubble.

Another patient was a 14-year-old boy we'll call Mustafa (changing his name for privacy purposes) who was miraculously rescued after seven days in the concrete rubble. His family had recently moved into a new home, and he was trapped in the wreckage. He reached out and held his little sister's hand until it turned cold and lifeless. He heard his brother calling out, but eventually he no longer responded. Mustafa realized he was the only survivor of his family.

Edward Graham holding a one-year-old Turkish baby
BREATH OF LIFE: My son Edward Graham cradles a little baby who received life-saving treatment at our Emergency Field Hospital. The baby had to be held upright for several hours to keep him alive.

He dreamed of his family bringing oranges and honey to sustain him while telling him, "Keep calm, they will rescue you." He lost track of the time and did not realize how long he was buried. In fact, a team with body bags was looking for remains when his uncle was surprised to hear a feeble cry for help. They dug Mustafa out, barely alive. After he recovered from the ordeal, our team released Mustafa into the care of his uncle.

14-year-old boy who was miraculously rescued after seven days in the concrete rubble.
TRAPPED IN THE WRECKAGE: This is "Mustafa," who was rescued after seven days trapped in the rubble.

Samaritan's Purse airlifted our hospital and supplies the day after the earthquake and received our first patients on February 13, the same day that Mustafa was rescued. We are based in the city of Antakya, which is ancient Antioch from the Bible. We pitched our tents in the parking lot of the city hospital, which is still standing but badly damaged and unsafe to enter.

Our field hospital has 52 beds, two operating rooms, four intensive care beds, a pharmacy, and a lab. We deployed 100 staff, not only specially trained doctors and nurses but also technicians to keep everything running. Our medical teams come from across the United States and around the world. We have our own water system and generator, as well as places to feed and house our staff.

ON THE GROUND: In this episode, Kristy Graham introduces listeners to an earthquake survivor and the staff who are serving at our field hospital.

Our Samaritan's Purse hospital which is based in the city of Antakya.

While I was there, ambulances brought in two patients recently rescued from the rubble who needed the specialized care we can offer. One needed treatment for a severe infection, while the other needed surgery for a leg wound.

You may have seen our field hospital featured on TV, as our team was visited by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a native of Turkey and a recent Senate candidate, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN.

Shortly after I left Antakya, the region suffered aftershocks of 6.2 and 5.6 (the initial one was 7.8). Our inflatable hospital tents are safe in an earthquake, and though some workers and equipment were knocked to the floor, our work continued. In our first week, we saw more than 1,000 patients.

Please pray for our relief teams, for our church partners in Turkey, and for the survivors who desperately need our help. Many lived in buildings that are now cracked and leaning. Entire cities like Antakya will need to be bulldozed and rebuilt.

Devastation in Turkey

At the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Turkey can be a challenging place for outsiders to work, especially since we are so close to the Syrian border. Yet in this hour, God has called us here and opened doors for us to help in Jesus' Name.

In the Bible, earthquakes are often signals of God at work. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that on Calvary at the hour Jesus gave up His Spirit, the rocks split, tombs broke open, and the curtain in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. At that moment, Roman guards at the cross declared, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:54).

On Resurrection Sunday, there was a great aftershock, as an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from Jesus' grave.

As we look forward to Easter, pray that many earthquake survivors in Turkey and neighboring Syria will find hope in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians, was the base for the Apostle Paul's missionary journeys, and is the site of a first-century cave church associated with the Apostle Peter. My son Edward visited this church, which survived the earthquake. Pray that Antioch can once again become a beacon for the Gospel.

Our field hospital team in Turkey has treated thousands of patients and performed more than 100 surgeries. Read the latest articles on our Turkey response page.

Responding to a Cholera Outbreak in Africa

Samaritan's Purse is helping our partner in Malawi care for dozens of cholera patients.

The same day that the earthquake hit Turkey, Samaritan's Purse already had teams en route to another emergency you might not have heard about.

An outbreak of cholera has taken 1,500 lives in Malawi, a small nation in southeastern Africa. Cholera is an awful disease spread by contaminated water that can drain the life from a man, woman, or child. It is not hard to treat, but otherwise it can be deadly for the patient and overwhelming for the local healthcare system.

Our partner in Malawi, Nkhoma Mission Hospital, asked Samaritan's Purse to help them care for dozens of cholera patients who were arriving daily. We quickly deployed a team with a doctor, nurses, and critically needed IV supplies.

While patients are in the clinic, health workers train them on sanitary practices to protect them from the spread of cholera. In this context, God gave one of our nurses an opportunity to share the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The patients welcomed this Good News and said they wished they had Bibles, but they were poor and the books were expensive.

The hospital chaplain found enough Bibles in the Chichewa language for each patient. "God has provided us with Bibles," she announced. As they excitedly read God's Word and heard Him speak in their heart language, our nurse was able to explain how much God loves them, and how the Lord wants us to respond in repentance and faith.

Pray for the people of Malawi, that God will not only spare them from cholera-ridden water but also bring them to faith in Christ. "The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

Everywhere the Lord leads Samaritan's Purse to work, our priority is to honor Christ and seek to share Him. As we meet daily needs, we also bring the hope of eternal life in Christ. Thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you.

Franklin Graham

Samaritan's Purse volunteers working to set up an emergency field hospital.
Ways to Help

Ways You Can Help


Pray for the people of Turkey as they grieve their losses and prepare for the long process of rebuilding their homes and towns. Ask the Lord to use our relief projects as a beacon for the Gospel in Asia Minor.

International Emergency Relief
Thousands of families need warm shelter right now, after their houses have been destroyed. Your gift will help provide tents, blankets, cots, lights, hygiene kits, clean water, and other assistance.
International Emergency Relief
Emergency Medicine
Your gift for Emergency Medicine enables Samaritan's Purse to deploy specially trained medical teams to places like Malawi and Turkey. This fund also supports the work of our Emergency Field Hospitals.
Emergency Medicine
Where Most Needed
Your gift to "Where Most Needed" equips Samaritan's Purse with the resources—including personnel, materials, supporting services, buildings, and equipment—to fulfill our worldwide mission of relief and evangelism.
Where Most Needed