(CP) American Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, met and prayed with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday after visiting several kibbutzim left devastated by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.
Graham, who heads the international Evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told The Christian Post in a statement Thursday that it was a privilege to have met Netanyahu, adding that the prime minister needs prayer.
"He is facing the most trying time since the birth of their nation with 1,200 people killed, more than 240 men, women, and children taken as hostages, and many injured in the Hamas attack," Graham stated.
"As I spoke with a woman whose husband was taken hostage, the fear and heartache is overwhelming," he continued. "Pray for these hostages and their families, pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem."
After Hamas terrorists attacked civilian communities in southern Israel last month, Samaritan's Purse deployed a disaster relief team to the country and is working with more than 50 churches in Israel and Gaza. Samaritan's Purse also supports churches providing Palestinians with food and medicine.
Samaritan's Purse says it provided Israel's first response service, Magen David Adom, with 21 ambulances after Hamas destroyed many of these types of vehicles during the Oct. 7 attack. Seven ambulances provided were armored to offer additional protection to medical personnel and patients.
Samaritan's Purse is equipping the first response service with trauma supply kits packed with various resources, including a combat application tourniquet, chest tube kit, suture kit and intubation kit. The bags are positioned with first responders in communities at high risk of future rocket attacks, according to a press statement.
"To date, Samaritan's Purse has provided hygiene kits, nearly 6,000 food vouchers, 300 food boxes, and 3,800 hot meals for internally displaced families in Israel," the statement said. "In addition to these supplies, we have provided medical equipment including defibrillators to search and rescue teams."
Samaritan's Purse has also offered to establish emergency field hospitals in Gaza and Israel.
In a Tuesday X post, Graham shared photos of his visit to the Gaza border, where he visited several kibbutzim invaded by Hamas last month.
In one kibbutz, Graham said around 130 people were killed, while 26 were taken hostage. The evangelist revealed that only the Israel Defense Forces occupy the kibbutz now. But he met with a young woman who had returned to the location to retrieve some things from her home.
The woman and her kids survived by hiding inside their home, but her husband, a medical doctor, rushed to treat injured people at a nearby clinic.
"While he was working to save lives, the terrorists shot their way into the clinic, and he and nearly every other person there were killed — only one or two people escaped alive," Graham stated.
"She told me that he was the love of her life," he continued. "There are countless untold stories of grief, heartbreak, horror, and trauma — and there is great need."
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