Samaritan’s Purse, the ministry founded by Franklin Graham, opened a 68-bed field hospital in New York’s Central Park on April 1 to help treat the overflow of COVID-19 patients streaming into Manhattan’s Mt. Sinai Hospital.
On Thursday’s 700 Club, Graham told CBN’s Pat Robertson that there’s a lot of despair and hopelessness in New York right now, even though the number of patients entering hospitals is dropping.
Currently, there are 53 patients being treated by the Samaritan’s Purse team, including eight or nine on ventilators in ICU.
“We have chaplains who pray with every patient who comes in. The doctors and nurses pray. Our chaplains pray. And as Christians, of course, we want people to know that God loves them, He hasn’t forgotten them. And we want to lift up Christ in the middle of this,” Graham said.
President Trump has praised Samaritan’s Purse for the work it’s doing in New York. Graham spoke with the president on the phone this week and said he had an opportunity to pray for the first family.
“I wanted to pray for him and Melania and Barron,” Graham said. “This has been difficult for the president. I don’t know when he sleeps. He’s been working all hours of the day and night. And I’m just concerned about him and his health. And I certainly wanted to pray for him and his family. That’s very important. He’s the leader of our nation, and he’s done an incredible job of keeping us informed. And mobilizing the government – I don’t think anybody could have mobilized the government as quickly as he had done it,” he said.
Graham said he believes during this unprecedented Holy Week, God is using the COVID-19 crisis to wake up a sleeping world.
“We’ve never seen this in our lifetime,” he said. “The whole world shut down. And we as Christians, of course, believe that this may be just some of the beginnings of the return of Christ. I believe Christ could return at any time. Whether He’s going to return in my lifetime, or my grandchildren’s, I don’t know.”
Graham went on to say now is an opportunity for Christians to share the love of Christ with the world.
“For the non-believing world – they’re beginning to ask questions. They’re beginning to ask Christians, ‘what do you think this is?’ And it’s a great opportunity for Christians to witness,” he went on. “We need to be sharing the good news of the Gospel. That’s what Easter is about, it’s about ‘God so loving the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Jesus Christ came not to condemn the world, but to save the world.”