Tuesday, May 13, 2008

China Update

While in China, Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse
Respond to Earthquake Destruction

SHANGHAI, China, May 13, 2008 (Press Release) - Within hours of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that crumbled buildings and killed thousands of people in the Sichuan Province of western China on Monday, international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse responded to the crisis.

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is currently on a 10-day visit to China where he is meeting with government and church leaders in Beijing, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai. When he learned about the devastating earthquake, Graham committed 1 million RMB ($150,000) to assist with the immediate disaster response. While the relief organization is continuing to look for additional ways it can contribute to the earthquake relief efforts, Graham issued the following statement of condolence:

"On behalf of my father, Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we want the people of China to know that we are praying for each person impacted by this disaster. Recovery efforts are under way, but you can never recover the loss of a life. We want to do anything we can to assist with this crisis so we are committing these funds for initial support of the local church as they assist with the relief efforts. I've been impressed with the effective and immediate response of the Chinese government and how they’ve responded to this devastating earthquake. Each day I’m here in China I am meeting with officials to assess the need and offer our assistance. Finally, I would ask all Christians in the United States to pray for the people of China and the church here as they reach out to their fellow citizens with God’s love and compassion."

Today Graham met with Elder Fu Xian-Wei, chairman of the Three Self Patriotic Movement, and Rev. Gao Feng, president of the China Christian Council, at the organizations’ national headquarters in Shanghai. "This donation is very important to the people of China because it shows the love of God for all people," said Rev. Gao. "This will encourage more Chinese people to do the same and to reach out to their neighbors in need. Franklin Graham's visit is bringing us much more understanding and encouragement for each other." Later in the day Graham met with the Shanghai Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee.


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