Note: In 2020, we celebrated 50 years of what God has done through Samaritan’s Purse. Check out our 50th anniversary web page for stories and videos.
“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.” Bob Pierce wrote these now-famous words in his Bible after visiting suffering children on the Korean island of Koje-do. This impassioned prayer is what guided him as he founded and led the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse in 1970. His mission for this organization was “to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches.”
After World War II, Bob Pierce traveled throughout Asia as an evangelist and journalist with Youth For Christ. While on a university lecturing circuit in China, he stumbled across some courageous women who were living among lepers and orphans, sacrificing everything to share the love of Jesus Christ. Through their selfless love, God gave Pierce a vision for ministry. He dedicated himself to finding and supporting other such Christians who were caring for the poor and suffering in the distant corners of the world.
In the summer of 1973, Bob Pierce met his eventual successor, an adventurous young student named Franklin Graham with a growing heart for world missions. Intrigued by his many stories from the field, Franklin began to spend more and more time with the seasoned Christian statesman. In 1975, he accompanied Bob on a life-changing tour of some of the world’s neediest mission fields. Franklin saw the poverty of pagan religions and the utter despair of the people they enslave. God had captured his heart for missions.
Bob Pierce died of leukemia in 1978, and a little over a year later, Franklin Graham became the President and Chairman of the Board of Samaritan’s Purse. Through over 40 years of earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, and famine, Franklin has led the ministry in following the Biblical example of the Good Samaritan all across the globe. God has blessed the organization under Franklin’s leadership, and the ministry has seen explosive growth.
“Go and do likewise,” Christ commanded after explaining the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. So we do. Samaritan’s Purse travels the world’s highways looking for victims along the way. We are quick to bandage the wounds we see, but like the Samaritan, we don’t stop there. In addition to meeting immediate, emergency needs, we help these victims recover and get back on their feet.
No matter where we go or what we do, we offer more than help. We offer hope. To suffering people in a broken world, we share the news of the only One who can bring true peace—Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.