Franklin Graham Offers Encouragement to Newly Appointed Special Envoy to Sudan

Shortly after President Obama's appointment of retired Air Force General Scott Gration as Special Envoy to Sudan, Franklin Graham spoke with Gration to offer encouragement and insight into the needs of the Sudanese people.

Graham, who is president and CEO of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, traveled to Sudan last month where he met with the country's president, Omar al-Bashir. 

"I told General Gration that I would be praying for him and that I would encourage other Christians to pray for him as well. I also suggested to him that he try to meet with President al-Bashir and help impress upon him the importance of allowing relief organizations to continue the incredibly important work of helping people who’s lives hang in the balance," said Graham, who has a long history of providing humanitarian aid to Sudan—a country where people continue to face incredible hardship after enduring years of bloody civil war.

Samaritan's Purse has been working in Sudan since 1993, helping hundreds of thousands survive regional conflicts, while advancing the cause of peace and religious freedom. The organization supported four hospitals in Sudan, re-established schools and agricultural programs in the Nuba Mountains, and distributed food to 130,000 displaced people in Darfur and 60,000 Bedouins near the Red Sea. Samaritan's Purse has also launched a program to rebuild churches destroyed during the civil war—completing nearly 250 so far with another 22 currently under construction. 

During Graham's recent trip to Sudan, he met with President al-Bashir and Salva Kiir, vice president of Sudan and president of the semiautonomous southern Sudan. The meeting followed a visit in January when Salva Kiir came to Samaritan's Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina, to meet with Graham and express his appreciation for the organization's extensive relief efforts in his country.

Samaritan's Purse is a non-profit organization that provides immediate, no-red-tape response to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations - especially in locations where few others are working. Samaritan's Purse has worked in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.