– Do you want to be encouraged by the power of prayer? Check out the replay of the Prayer March 2020.
– Operation Christmas Child shoebox season is here! Click here to find COVID-19 updates, gift suggestions, and ways to get involved.
– Read more about how ‘Dr. Kent Brantly Continues to Share Good News’ after his battle with Ebola.
– Samaritan’s Purse is still fighting COVID-19 by setting up another Emergency Field Hospital in the Bahamas. Find more information here.
Since the beginning of Samaritan’s Purse in 1970, prayer and dependence on God has always been the solid foundation of the ministry. In this special podcast episode, Kristy Graham looks back at the ways staff and volunteers have seen God answer individual and corporate prayers.
The episode opens with Kristy’s conversation with Ken Isaacs, the vice president for programs and government relations. Starting with the beginning of Operation Christmas Child in 1993, Kenney remembers how God continually exceeded their expectations. Originally focusing the program on providing gift-filled shoeboxes to children primarily in Sarajevo and Bosnia, the ministry only expected 3,500 boxes. After Dr. Ross Rhoads promoted the new ministry to his congregation, over 11,700 boxes were collected, and it has grown to millions each year since then.
Bill Pfister, Operation Christmas Child senior regional director for the Americas and Caribbean, tells a story of how a young boy in a sub-Saharan African country received ski gloves in his gift-filled shoebox. Although ski gloves would seem useless in that high climate, the boy’s daily job in his family was to take a heavy copper pot off the fire and carry it to be served—leaving his hands burned and scared. The ski gloves were his answer to prayer.
Ken tells Kristy that God has used the ministry and multiplied it in unimaginable ways. Just like the miracles seen in Operation Christmas Child, God has grown the ministry of North American Ministries. Starting with one tractor-trailer and two pickup trucks, now North American Ministries has grown nationwide to be equipped to respond at a moment’s notice to disasters across the U.S. Luther Harrison, the vice president for North American Ministries, shares how God has expanded the ministry and used it for His good.
“I feel God is blessing us because we’re staying faithful—we’re not just there to meet humanitarian needs, but we’re there to meet spiritual needs. We’re there to plant seeds and see God magnified in everything that we do. Looking back, it’s easy to see that this has been God and nothing we’ve done on our own.” —Luther Harrison
Next, Kristy asks Ken about the story of Kent Brantly, a Samaritan’s Purse doctor who contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia in 2014. Melissa Strickland, the senior director for communications, remembers when Kent’s family heard the news he would likely not live and their first instinct was to pray. While thousands around the world prayed for his recovery, he was restored to full health after receiving an experimental medication.
Like responding to Ebola in 2014, Samaritan’s Purse was equipped to handle COVID-19 in 2020 because of its reliance on prayer. Dr. Julie McKay, a doctor serving in the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona, Italy, tells a story of a critically ill patient who would most likely not survive the night. However, after texting her friends and family to pray for this anonymous man, he was on the road to recovery by the next morning.
Ken closes with the reminding listeners of the importance of “speed prayers,” or short prayers with an expectancy that God will take care of the answer in His way. Kelly Sites, a nurse on our Disaster Assistance Response Team, tells of a time she was serving in Haiti after an earthquake in 2010. She was searching for a sharpie after hers ran out of ink, and she was desperate for another one. After sending up a speed prayer for a sharpie, five minutes later, a donor drove up to their site and happened to have a sharpie in his pocket.
The episode closes with a few favorite scriptures from Samaritan’s Purse staff members, and emphasizes the importance of praying through every situation. Please continue to pray for the work of Samaritan’s Purse—that God would continue to move each day through the projects, people, and prayers of the ministry.