17th September 2019
Franklin Graham came to Grand Bahama on Monday, Sept. 16, to oversee Samaritan’s Purse medical relief efforts on the island nation ravaged by Hurricane Dorian in early September.
Graham visited with patients at our Emergency Field Hospital, including Kristna Thompson, a man suffering from congestive heart failure, and Glen Bartlett, who is ill with a suspected tumour in his throat.
“It was rough,” Bartlett said of the hurricane. “I stayed at the house until the rain and wind slowed down. I had trouble walking and needed a stick to walk to check on my neighbours.”
Since Dorian struck, our mobile unit has been the only working hospital in the northern Bahamas, where residents are wrestling with a variety of serious injuries and illnesses in the wake of the Category 5 storm. Many patients we’ve seen have developed serious infections after spending hours in floodwater with cuts on their legs and feet.
“We’re going to take good care of you,” Graham told Thompson and Bartlett as he encouraged them in our emergency room.
Kristna Thompson was thankful that Samaritan’s Purse was there to help him. “They treat you with a smile. They show you love. Thank God for those people,” he said after returning home.
Graham also met with Samaritan’s Purse medical team members, who have treated nearly 700 patients since the hospital opened last week. We praise God that several people have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior while being treated at the facility. In addition to the witness of our staff, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have also been on hand sharing the hope found only in the Gospel.
“When you see destruction like this what do you say? When people have lost everything and have no way to recover? That’s why Samaritan’s Purse responds in Jesus’ Name,” Graham said. “We want to help people physically but also spiritually. We come in with a great team of doctors and nurses and technicians and builders, but we also bring in chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association so that we can minister to them spiritually.”
Beyond our hospital in Freeport, Graham addressed the situation in the Abaco Islands where our teams are distributing tarps and helping with water purification, among other activities. Dorian turned homes there into rubble and stranded hundreds of people without shelter, water, or other resources. Hundreds are still missing.
“It’s just like a bomb went off. I believe God has called us as Samaritan’s Purse to respond when there’s storms, when there’s a hurricane or crisis anywhere in the world, and, of course, the Bahamas are our neighbours, and we’re here in Jesus’ Name,” he said. “The people here are in great need, they’ll be in need for a long time, and Samaritan’s Purse will be here.”
Please continue to pray for our relief response in the Bahamas. Pray for many residents to receive the help they need and for God to open hearts to the Good News of Jesus Christ.