1975-1977: Bob Pierce worked tirelessly to help those fleeing communist rule in Vietnam in the mid- to late 1970s.
Much of Bob Pierce’s work was in Asia. It was after a visit to suffering children on an island in Korea, he wrote this famous prayer in his Bible: “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
In the late 1970s, Samaritan’s Purse helped refugees who were fleeing from the Communist takeover in Vietnam. Dr. Bob, already fighting leukemia, worked himself to exhaustion assisting orphans, widows, and refugees during the last hours before the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. He fought frantically to save the lives of evangelists and pastors marked for death by the communists, and he personally arranged for planeloads of these precious souls to be flown out of Saigon to freedom.
After the war, Samaritan’s Purse was able to return to Vietnam in the 1990s by supporting missionaries John and Esther Fitzstevens. Esther was born in Vietnam, and God used her to open doors for Samaritan’s Purse to work there. We have had an office in Vietnam for over 20 years now, and our projects focus on helping people in the areas of agriculture and clean water, maternal and child health, safe migration, and education and vocational training focused on the poor and disabled.