Franklin Graham Update September

A large crowd standing in line for food in the Ukraine

War-Weary Ukrainians
for a Harsh Winter

War-Weary Ukrainians
for a Harsh Winter

Franklin Graham in Ukraine

Dear Friend,

Winter comes early in Eastern Europe, and it looks like it will be a harsh one for the people of Ukraine. After six months of war, millions are living in badly damaged houses without power or running water as they deal with shortages of food, fears for their safety, and endless grief. They need our help.

Even though millions of refugees fled Ukraine at the start of the war, most of the population has remained or tried to return home. About 5 million people are living close to the frontlines in the so-called "red zone"—places that are vulnerable to artillery fire and missile strikes.

Every week, Samaritan's Purse delivers some 75 truckloads of food into Ukraine, and we work with more than 2,000 partner churches to deliver it to those in need. We have already given out 50 million pounds of food, most of it in family-size bags of about 15-20 pounds each. We thank God that we have been able to help over 4 million Ukrainians with food, medical care, water, and other emergency needs provided by Samaritan's Purse. Thank you for praying and for giving to make this possible.

Ukraine used to be known as the breadbasket of Europe, but because of the fighting, food is increasingly scarce. When we distribute food, hundreds of people line up for help. One of our partner churches was overwhelmed by the demand for food, and the pastor thanked Samaritan's Purse for supplying groceries. "You are doing God's work here," he said.

Winter in Ukraine is bitterly cold and snowy, and war damage will make it worse. Many families and elderly people will be facing the cold weather in houses with bombed-out windows and holes ripped in their roofs. Samaritan's Purse is providing clear plastic to seal windows and heavy-duty tarps to patch roofs. We are also preparing to purchase and distribute things like blankets, warm hats, and solar-powered lights to help them through the long, dark nights.

Samaritan's Purse blanket with three beanies
One of our local church partners has given us a list of 5,000 families who need wood-burning stoves to heat their homes. That's a huge order, and it's just the start, but we are trusting the Lord to provide.

As we continue to respond to the crisis in Ukraine, it's been a privilege to work through the evangelical churches as they follow the example of the Good Samaritan and go out of their way to help their neighbors in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their courage and faith are inspiring—pastors and Christian volunteers put on helmets and flak jackets and venture into the red zone to bring food and other assistance to residents who have been living under siege.

Someday, when this war is over, we want people to remember that it was the church that cared for them and helped meet their needs in the Name of Jesus. This is already evident in one of Ukraine's larger cities, which bore the brunt of Russia's initial siege but was liberated in May. Churches are busy in the war-scarred streets, delivering food from Samaritan's Purse to demonstrate the love of God.

"There is a great awakening in Ukraine right now," a local pastor told our team. "God can turn evil into good. People are turning to God now. Where there is trouble and pain, there is now divine love and care. God is here. No war in the world and no circumstances in life can affect God's love for us."

A man in front of food supplies.

With municipal water service damaged and cut off in many cities, Samaritan's Purse has been drilling wells and installing water filter systems at churches. One small church where we set up a water system now draws hundreds of worshippers every Sunday. Among them is an elderly lady who said she had never attended church until she came there for water. Now she has come to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

Please join me in praying that God will sustain the Ukrainians and protect our staff and partners as they serve courageously on the frontlines.

War Won't Stop Christmas in Ukraine

Through our Operation Christmas Child project, Samaritan's Purse has been working in Ukraine since 1996 and has delivered 11.6 million shoebox gifts. We thank God that these children have had an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Children holding Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in 2006, Ukraine

You might think it would be impossible to continue this ministry in a war zone, but our dedicated church partners have been unstoppable—reaching another 400,000 children through shoebox outreach events since the fighting began. This year, it's more important than ever to reach children who have been traumatized by all the bloodshed, blasts, and sirens. They need to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them.

Ukranian girl holding her The Greatest Journey book
Not only are churches working faithfully to hand out shoebox gifts, but they are also holding The Greatest Journey classes. This is the 12-lesson discipleship program that we offer to children who receive shoebox gifts. We thank God that the year before the fighting began, more than 125,000 children graduated from The Greatest Journey, receiving a Bible in their own language from Samaritan's Purse. Most importantly, we praise God for each one who prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Now is the time to start packing shoebox gifts and praying for the children who will receive them. National Collection Week will be Nov. 14-21.

In addition to Ukraine, we are planning to send Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to more than 100 countries around the world. Each and every gift is a powerful demonstration of God's love.

Please join us in praying for peace in Ukraine. May these children and their families find hope in the words the angels spoke over Bethlehem the night Jesus was born: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:14).

Thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you.

Franklin Graham

Two girls grinning while holding their Operation Christmas Child boxes and toys.
Ways to Help

Ways You Can Help


Pray for peace in Ukraine. Ask the Lord to protect and strengthen churches as they work boldly to meet the needs of their neighbors, especially in the coming winter. Pray that many Ukrainians will find hope in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Ukraine Response
Your gift will help relieve suffering in Ukraine by equipping Samaritan's Purse to provide food, water, medical care, and other assistance. A heating stove with a supply of firewood costs about $200.
Ukraine Response
Operation Christmas Child & the Greatest Journey
The Greatest Journey® is a series of discipleship lessons that Samaritan's Purse offers to children who have received Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. Lessons, teacher training, and a Bible for each graduate cost $6 per child or $90 for a class of 15.
OCC—The Greatest Journey
Where Most Needed
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 worldwide.
Where Most Needed