Franklin Graham Update May

Franklin Graham Update May

Helping Amid
the Storms

A gravely ill one-year-old Turkish boy

Dear Friend,

Entire towns disappeared and dozens of lives were lost when ferocious tornadoes tore across the Southeast and Midwest in the first two weeks of spring.

A gravely ill one-year-old Turkish boy

My wife, Jane Austin, and I went to Mississippi to pray with survivors, to meet with local leaders, and to see how Samaritan's Purse can help. Meanwhile, we deployed five of our disaster relief units to storm-stricken towns from Arkansas to Indiana. It seems like Tornado Alley has become an expressway, with more than 300 twisters reported this year. Our teams have helped in three locations in Mississippi (Rolling Fork, Silver City, and Amory), two in Arkansas (Little Rock and Wynne), two in Tennessee (Covington and Savannah), as well as in Indiana (Sullivan County) and Oklahoma (Shawnee). At the same time, we also deployed teams to help flood victims in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this year, we responded to tornadoes in Alabama (Selma) and Georgia (Griffin).

In Rolling Fork and Silver City, I was struck not only by the awful devastation, but also by the resolute spirit of the survivors. These are stouthearted, hardworking folks who care about their neighbors and live out the values Jesus taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Destruction in Rolling Fork, Mississippi

Most people I met are determined to rebuild their homes and communities—rather than be wiped off the map. Neighbors and Samaritan's Purse volunteers worked for weeks to clean up debris and make emergency repairs. Yet many houses are beyond repair or completely gone. Samaritan's Purse is committed to helping families start over by providing hundreds of reinforced, well-anchored mobile homes for homeowners who were uninsured.

The tornado that devastated Rolling Fork and Silver City was rated EF4, with 170 mph winds that left a 60-mile scar across the Mississippi Delta. It was the deadliest tornado in Mississippi in more than 50 years. That's the same intensity as the twister that destroyed Mayfield, Kentucky, just before Christmas in 2021—where Samaritan's Purse is still working to rebuild houses.

The tornado struck Rolling Fork at sunset on Friday, March 24, just 20 minutes after a tornado warning was declared. Tracy Harden was working in her dairy bar when the lights flickered and she realized the storm was approaching. She hustled everyone into the cooler just as the roof was ripped off the restaurant. God used that cooler to save the lives of nine people, as it was the only part of the building not swept away. In spite of all that she has lost, she told me that she believes Rolling Fork will recover. "We lost a lot of friends," she said. "We are grieving and hurting, but we've just got to get through that and we'll come back."

HELPING OUR NEIGHBORS: Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, her mother Janet Huckabee, and members of the governor's staff volunteered with Samaritan's Purse in cleaning up storm damage.

The Mississippi Delta is home to some of our nation's richest farmland, yet these are among America's poorest counties, based on per-capita income. Most of the tornado victims were uninsured, and now they've lost what little they had. Right now, they need their neighbors in the Christian community to help them recover.

Samaritan's Purse volunteers cleaning up storm damage.

We are so thankful for our volunteers. Our disaster relief ministry wouldn't be possible without them. I met one couple who came from Illinois on their 45th deployment with Samaritan's Purse over the past 12 years.

ON THE GROUND: The majority of Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members go to care for people devastated by the disaster; however, member care chaplains hold a different role...

WAR ZONE: former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and my son Edward Graham visiting our relief projects.

God's Love Shines Through Ukraine's Churches

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently led a U.S. delegation to Ukraine. While there, my son Edward took them to see our relief work around the capital of Kyiv as well as the city of Irpin, which was liberated last year. Our team there is repairing houses that suffered bomb damage. After we installed new windows and tarped the roof of one family's home, the father said, "We are still in a kind of happy shock. We want to say thank you to all of you. Together, we can be the hope for Ukraine's future."

Volunteers working in Ukraine

Pompeo commended the work of Samaritan's Purse and our dedicated church partners, who have helped more than 8 million Ukrainians with 153 million pounds of food, 13 million gallons of fresh water, emergency medical services, and other assistance. "I've watched the church and Samaritan's Purse in particular do amazing work, not only to fix houses and provide food but to provide faithful support," Pompeo said. "It's work that's important, and it requires the love of the Lord."

Please join us in praying for peace in Ukraine and especially for the millions who have been traumatized during a year of relentless fighting.

Volunteers working in Ukraine

Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous support for the work of Samaritan's Purse here on the homefront and around the world. May God richly bless you.

Franklin Graham

Ways to Help

Ways You Can Help


Please lift up the tornado victims and others still dealing with long-term effects of storms. Thank God for raising up an army of disaster relief volunteers, and pray that the weather will permit them to safely complete their work. Pray for the ongoing work of Samaritan's Purse around the world.

This has been a busy tornado season. Your gift for "U.S. Disaster Relief" will help us replace or repair houses for storm survivors. If the Lord is calling you or your church to help storm victims, go to to see current volunteer opportunities.
U.S. Disaster Relief
Your gift will enable Samaritan's Purse and our evangelistic church partners in Ukraine to meet the needs of war victims by providing food (typical staples pictured above), water, housing repair, and other assistance.
Ukraine Response
Where Most Needed
Samaritan's Purse works in the Name of Jesus Christ to help victims of disaster, disease, poverty, famine, and war. Your gift to "Where Most Needed" equips us with the resources—including personnel, materials, supporting services, buildings, and equipment—to fulfill our mission of relief and evangelism.
Where Most Needed