By / Feb 1

Down Ukrainian roads, cloaked in the golden hues of the vibrant but short-lived autumn, comes help and hope. A caravan of cars following a yellow panel van borrowed from a church carries suitcases and plastic tubs filled with medical supplies. A mission team, including healthcare professionals from both Ukraine and the U.S., prepares each day for the hours of work ahead, sometimes catching a needed nap on the journey to or from the day’s location.

The caravan of hope is part of an ongoing medical ministry of IMB teams in Ukraine to bring care to underserved communities. The need for medical care in eastern regions has been critical since violence began in 2014, part of the Russo-Ukrainian war, now considered a “frozen conflict.” After the height of the crisis, many local businesses, including clinics and hospitals, closed, leaving residents who have stayed with little or no access to medical attention.

This particular team is a unique group, a last-minute replacement for a team of volunteers that could not travel due to COVID-19 restrictions. The team is made of IMB missionaries, a Ukrainian doctor, a retired nurse, a volunteer paramedic and Ukrainian believers. When Ukrainian partners aren’t serving as interpreters, they fill in at an eye-glass station or make-shift pharmacy. 

In one church that hosted a clinic, chairs from a simple choir loft soon become a triage unit. Pews are unbolted from the floor to make room for tables where Svieta, a Ukrainian doctor, and Harrison Martin*, an IMB Journeyman nurse practitioner, will meet with patients. Women from the church work in a small kitchen adjacent to the sanctuary to prepare food for the mission team. A breakfast of tomatoes, potatoes, beet salad, crepes, and bread is waiting when the team arrives. Smells from the multi-course meal that will be served at lunch already waft through the small building.

IMB missionary Jack Gibbs* explains that the mobile clinics are a partnership between churches in the U.S. and in Ukraine. They are funded through Send Relief and through gifts given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®. Gibbs organizes the trips with local pastors and Ukrainian ministry partners, following the guidance of local governments.

For the least of these

Medical clinics give access to entire villages, Gibbs explains. 

“It’s amazing that a one-day clinic can give access to a local evangelist or church planter for years to come.” 

After each clinic, Gibbs gives the local host pastor the registration cards completed by visitors to the clinic. 

“These are people in your community who need care and the gospel. We will pray for you as you minister here,” Gibbs tells local pastors.

Dennis, his stained hands revealing work in the coal mines, comes with an eye infection, probably caused by coal dust. He leaves with antibiotic eye drops, vitamins and blood pressure medicine, provided through the generosity of Southern Baptists. These things would otherwise be very expensive for Dennis, if available at all in his region.

Nine-year-old Timothy comes with his father. Timothy has an abscess on his throat. Martin is able to lance and clean the wound. An old sofa in the corner of the church replaces a sterile medical table Martin would use in the U.S. But Timothy still receives the care he needs, plus a children’s Bible and stuffed tiger, and even comes to the team’s hotel the next morning for a follow-up visit.

Many senior citizens come with diabetes and high blood pressure. Parents bring children for well-child check-ups and allergies. All receive kindness and care and the love of Christ. At the end of the week, the team knows of six people who have chosen to follow Christ. One woman cries as she leaves the pharmacy, saying that she has never been treated with so much kindness by doctors.

Beauty of partnership

Vlad, a Ukrainian ministry partner who Gibbs calls “one of his very best friends,” says that people in the areas where they serve have little access to doctors or pharmacies. Some must travel more than two hours to find a clinic, if they have money for transportation. The clinics that come to them are welcomed.

Vlad is a former professional soccer player who now coaches soccer and teaches English, in addition to his ministry beside IMB missionaries. On clinic days, he translates, shares the gospel, entertains children, and fills in where needed. His stoic demeanor hides his tender heart for God and others. 

He shares the gospel that transformed his own life — a message he received when he heard a mission team leading a soccer camp in his community. He connected with Christians over his beloved sport and met his beloved Savior. 

“This is my family,” Vlad says of the IMB missionaries and Christian friends he’s met in his ministry. “We’ve done so many things together since 2012.” 

He recognizes that those who come to the clinics need more than physical care. “God is my Father; God is my direction. He is merciful and He is love. And He can be your best friend,” he shares in his testimony.

Vlad was one of the first workers to meet Ludmila, age 66. As she waited in a line of chairs against the small church sanctuary wall to have her blood pressure checked, Vlad asked her if she knew Jesus.  She explained that she was shy, too afraid to pray to receive Jesus, though she understood her need. Vlad asked the pastor of the hosting church to pray with him for Ludmila. As she went through the medical stations — first to the nurse for a temperature and blood pressure check, then to speak with the doctor, then to the table in the back corner of the sanctuary serving as a pharmacy — she felt her need for Jesus grow. When Vlad approached her again, she was ready. She followed Vlad and the pastor to the choir loft for space to kneel, pray, and accept Christ’s gift of eternal life. 

“She was so shy at the beginning, and then she was telling people about following Jesus as she was leaving!” Vlad recounts.

More relief must be sent

As Gibbs prays for more Send Relief teams to come to Ukraine, he also prays for a medical professional to join their team in a permanent missionary role to help facilitate the clinics and further the healthcare strategies in Ukraine. He sees evidence that God can use so many people if they are willing to serve.

“There’s so much need here. The medical needs give us an opportunity to come and to help, but at the same time we’re not going in to just meet just medical needs,” Gibbs says.

Gibbs, a church planter without medical training, believes that healthcare strategies are one of the greatest ways to engage adults with the gospel. As he leads the teams, he witnesses God work in and through team members, just as God works in the lives of those in need of care. 

“The Lord is gracious and anytime His children are walking in what He has laid out for them, you’re going to see amazing things. Things you can’t imagine. And God does those things and it’s amazing to be a part of it.”

Discover now how you or your church can serve through Send Relief and IMB healthcare strategies.

*The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.

By / Apr 30

Jimmy Carter once said, “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I’m free to choose what that something is, and the something I’ve chosen is my faith . . . My faith demands — this is not optional — my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

Many Christians are doing their best to make a difference. We know our faith compels us to action, and we’re ready to get to work. But when we read the news, we’re confronted with stories of Christians who got it wrong. They wanted to help, but in their zeal they did more harm than good. The narratives related to charity can be equally confusing, and it’s hard to tell if our gifts are helping or hurting. 

Often these missteps come down to a lack of education combined with our impulse to “just do something.” We need a robust understanding of forms of aid in order to decipher which form is most appropriate in a given circumstance. 

Relief aid: Timing is everything

The two most common types of aid are relief aid and development aid. These two categories of assistance share the same overarching goal of helping people overcome difficult circumstances. However, relief aid tends to be reactionary as it is generally employed after a disaster. It often involves supplying materials needed to sustain life that have become inaccessible or limited. 

An example of relief aid is distributing medicine, food baskets, or clean water after a natural disaster. One tell-tale marker is a lack of long-term goals because relief aid focuses on doing the most immediate good in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances. It’s inherently bound by a time limit; when the emergency ends, so does the assistance.

Relief aid is necessary in many situations, but if implemented inappropriately it can lead to a host of problems, including dependence, unhealthy power dynamics, and the demeaning of vulnerable people. 

Giving away goods on a regular basis encourages dependence on the giver. When we choose to provide relief aid to communities for an extended time, particularly after the initial crisis has ceased, they eventually come to depend on donations to function at a normal level. This has been a chronic problem among evangelicals. In an effort to be generous, Christians have applied prolonged relief aid beyond when it is helpful. This can stifle local economies, circumvent slower upstream work in favor of quick-fixes, and overlook the assets a community already possesses. 

Additionally, inappropriately administered relief aid degrades those being served. When we insist on supplying temporary provisions rather than striving to educate and empower people to provide for themselves, we relay the message that they are not intelligent or capable enough to thrive independently.

As Christians who honor the imago Dei, we should prioritize teaching people to care for themselves and their family. Our aid must acknowledge God-given capability in every person.

Development aid: Commitment is key

For these reasons, it is vital to prioritize development aid over relief aid in noncrisis situations. Development aid seeks to attack the root problems causing vulnerabilities like fatherlessness and poverty. It aims to improve economic and social issues through education, reform, and asset-based empowerment. The goal of development aid is self-sufficient communities. Barring cases of disaster, they have the tools to depend on neighbors rather than outsiders for support.

Development aid is often considered “upstream” work because it is preventative in nature. It addresses the underlying issues of cultural and systemic brokenness. For instance, if parents bring their children to a children’s home because they can’t provide food and education, a root cause of the orphan crisis in that community is poverty. By helping to establish sustainable means of income, we can help prevent avoidable family fracturing.

A Ugandan example to follow

127 Worldwide’s aquaponics project seeks to address that very upstream issue in Nebbi, Uganda. Several years ago, 127 assisted Odongo Geoffrey, local pastor and partner to 127, with creating an aquaponics system on the property of Acres of Hope School and Children’s Home. We built ponds that house catfish, and the nutrient-rich water from the ponds fertilizes nearby crops. The fish and vegetables grown through this system feed children at the school, and the sale of these goods raises money for Acres of Hope to continue its ministry. 

But aquaponics has also equipped Geoffrey with the means to implement both relief and development aid himself. Today Geoffrey manages six fish ponds on the property, and each pond holds up to 1000 fish. Aquaponics is producing more fish than the school needs. Geoffrey plans to sell the fish to families in his community at wholesale price, allowing them to turn a profit at retail price in the market. He hopes to provide sustainable income to needy families through his ponds. He’s also developing personal mini-aquaponics systems the size of whiskey-barrels that families can use to harvest their own fish and water their crops. 

In an area where the average monthly income is $50, these sustainable solutions are a step toward helping vulnerable communities flourish. When COVID-19 hit, Geoffrey leveraged his development project toward relief aid, distributing fish and vegetables to families affected by the virus and lockdowns. He has even more plans for how aquaponics can continue to serve his community, but just these examples show how investment in development aid can make a long-lasting impact on vulnerable communities.

It is important to note that the gradual movement from relief aid to development aid is not linear, and Geoffrey’s story illustrates that well. There will never be a point at which a community never needs relief aid again. Geographic location, government instability, and family fracturing make some communities uniquely vulnerable to continued crises. But in any new crisis situation, it is important to again provide relief aid, while still attempting to maintain previously-adopted development initiatives. A general pattern of intentional and sustained movement toward development-based aid remains the best tool for achieving community transformation.

Your part

The impulse to care for the vulnerable among us is evidence of authentic Christian faith (James 1:27). The gospel compels us to do something about the brokenness we see in the world around us. But gaining the knowledge to discern how to empower communities to thrive often requires more time and investment than we expect. As you consider what role you might have in serving vulnerable communities, let us make three suggestions.

  1. Do the research before you give. Ask good questions, read news articles, and try to find out as much about a given initiative as you can. If you determine that a project is perpetuating relief aid beyond its helpfulness, look for another organization that is doing development work in the same area. In true crisis situations, consider giving both to a relief cause and toward a development cause in order to meet immediate needs and help those who are preparing for long-term solutions.
  2. Look for organizations to invest in monthly. Sustainable solutions take time and require ongoing support. 127 Worldwide partners with four local leaders, including Geoffrey, in Uganda, Kenya, and Guatemala. The contributions of monthly donors allow 127 to support ongoing community development and contribute to relief causes in those places. Find an organization whose mission you believe in and invest your resources there.
  3. Consider how to best honor the imago Dei in your own relationships and ministry. It’s not just organizations asking you for donations that cause you to evaluate your charity. We all encounter people with financial needs whom we could help in a variety of ways. Next time you meet someone asking for a handout, consider what God has given you to utilize in loving your neighbor and how your actions either affirm or deny their God-given capabilities. 

We have all been given different gifts, capabilities, and callings to serve the Lord. Yet, we know we are all meant to minister to the vulnerable. Pray for wisdom and discernment as to how you can meet tangible needs in a way that promotes flourishing and carry the gospel to your neighbors near and far. 

By / Mar 9

Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package, named the American Rescue Act, that provides a multidimensional relief and stimulus approach to the pandemic recovery. The legislative package includes direct stimulus payments to Americans, extends jobless benefits, provides both small business assistance and state and local funding for economic relief, as well as many other projects and expenditures. If passed by the House and signed by President Biden, this would be one of the largest spending bills in recent history.

How did it pass? 

The Senate used a process called “Budget Reconciliation” to pass this COVID relief package by a simple majority. Most Senate votes are subjected to “cloture”, requiring a 60-vote threshold for legislation to pass. The reconciliation process is a tool the Senate can use that only requires a simple majority, allowing for budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs to move forward. 

When the Senate uses the budget reconciliation process, the minority party has the opportunity to bring up amendments for a vote. This process is known as a “vote-a-rama” because it takes hours to debate and vote on the amendments. On Friday, the Senate pulled an all-nighter for this vote-a-rama, and, after more than 24 hours of continuous debate and votes, the $1.9T American Rescue Plan passed the Senate on Saturday. The bill passed by a 50-49 party line vote. Sen. Dan Sulivan (R–Alaska) did not vote, but it would have been unlikely to change the outcome as Vice President Kamala Harris could have broken the tie for the Democrats.

Was there funding for abortion in this COVID relief bill?

Congress passed all of the pandemic relief legislation throughout 2020, including the $2 trillion CARES ACT, with Hyde amendment protection. This is not surprising, as the 116th Congress was in line with over four decades of bipartisan conscience protections in spending bills. Regrettably, this round of pandemic stimulus did not include these long-agreed upon pro-life budget protections. This is a major break from a foundational bipartisan agreement that has held since 1976—that Americans divergent views about abortion should be respected.

The Hyde Amendment and other pro-life budget riders protects American taxpayer dollars from funding abortion. It is estimated that the Hyde Amendment has saved over two million lives since it was enacted. According to a recent Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll, a majority of Americans (58%) oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions within the United States. Congress must continue to respect these morally grave concerns and honor the nearly half-century of bipartisan conscience protections in spending bills.

Senators Lankford (R–Okla.) and Daines (R–Mont.) filed pro-life amendments to include Hyde Amendment protections, but they were all subjected to the Byrd rule and needed 60 votes for passage. After the failed attempt to bring the Senate back to its 45 year running agreement on these protections, Sen. Lankford lamented that, “funding during a pandemic should save lives, not take lives. Abortion funding should not be in a COVID-19 pandemic bill. This shouldn’t be controversial.” Thankfully, Senators Casey (D–Pa.), Kaine (D–Va.) and Manchin (D–W.Va.) joined all of the Republican members in supporting the pro-life amendment. However, these amendments needed 60 votes and thus they were not adopted. 

Abortion is not healthcare, and this legislation should not reflect the destructive aims of the abortion lobby’s agenda. Ending the pandemic and economic hardship suffered by many ought to be a unifying effort. American taxpayer dollars should never fund abortion, and it is unconsconscionable to use a public health crisis as cover to advance radical abortion policy.

What’s next?

The American Rescue Plan will receive a House vote this week. We urge the House to take this opportunity to add Hyde Amendment protections and other pro-life conscience riders for the good of all Americans. The ERLC has sent Congressional leadership a letter urging them to include pro-life provisions in any spending bill in the 117th Congress, and will continue to oppose efforts to allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.

By / Mar 3

The coronavirus pandemic is pushing vulnerable populations into unprecedented risk of starvation in North America and around the world. Through the work of Global Hunger Relief, Southern Baptists are equipped to respond to this humanitarian crisis.

“Hunger is on the rise,” the 2021 Global Humanitarian Overview states. The report projects the current number of  “acutely food insecure people” around the world at 270 million. Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.

The overview reports that almost all food systems have been majorly disrupted in the last 12 months. Nearly every school-age child in the world has dealt with school closures this year, in some cases eliminating critical access to meals provided through schools.

In the United States, “more than 50 million people may experience food insecurity, including a potential 17 million children,” due to the pandemic, reports Feeding America.

Global Hunger Relief, an initiative of Southern Baptists, exists to serve those at risk for hunger around the world through Gospel-centered projects. GHR is prepared to meet immediate, crisis needs, but also provides long-term, sustainable solutions to end chronic hunger, such as job skills training, livestock and seed distribution, and clean water. 

GHR is a collaborative partnership between seven Southern Baptist organizations: Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Send Relief, Women’s Missionary Union, Lifeway Christian Resources, and the SBC Executive Committee.

Southern Baptists have a long history of working together to combat global hunger and established the World Hunger Fund in 1978, which eventually became known as Global Hunger Relief.

Because of the Cooperative Program, all donations given to GHR go directly to hunger needs. Twenty percent of funds meet needs in North America and Eighty percent of funds meet needs around the world. Learn more about Global Hunger Relief at and

By / May 7

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McCarthy:

Thank you for your hard work on passing previous COVID-19 relief packages. I’m grateful for your efforts and your dedication to assisting others during this time of crisis. While those packages include many provisions to aid people who have been affected by the crisis, there are more steps that need to be taken to help.

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis will be difficult for many and devastating for others, including our nation’s most vulnerable populations. As you work on the details of a Phase 4 legislative package, I write to ask you to include our nation’s charitable sector and protect our vulnerable populations. The charitable sector is on the frontlines of this crisis, providing care and resources for the unemployed, the elderly, and the vulnerable. There are many suffering from COVID-19, but certain vulnerable populations are suffering from unique burdens and challenges right now.

I’d like to ask you to include the following provisions in a Phase 4 package:

Charitable Sector and Nonprofits Provisions

Two-year Universal Charitable Deduction to Encourage Giving to Charities

A Universal Charitable Deduction (UCD) would incentivize all taxpayers to give to nonprofits and charities, including churches. This action would help mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our government should welcome the generosity of all citizens–at all levels of income–who desire to help their neighbors through religious associations, educational institutions, and any organization that relieves poverty.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 doubled the standard deduction, which means that most Americans no longer itemize their deductions. Under the federal tax code, people can only claim a deduction for charitable contributions if they itemize their deductions. Since the amount of people who itemize deductions has shrunk, many nonprofits are concerned there would be a drop in donations, because of the lack of incentive to give. The Charitable Deduction is the only deduction for which the taxpayer receives no other material benefit (compared with the mortgage interest deduction or tuition deduction).

The Phase 4 relief package should include an unlimited Universal Charitable Deduction, retroactive to 2019 and extending for two years to propel American generosity to the organizations serving at the front lines in our communities.

Provide Additional Payroll Support for Charitable Nonprofits

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorized billions of dollars in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. While some nonprofits were able to access a PPP loan, many others weren’t able to, due to a variety of reasons, including limited funds in the PPP program.

The inability to access those loans will hinder the good work of many nonprofits, and could permanently close other charitable organizations. This could be solved through a nonprofit charity grant program that would be accessed by faith-based charities to support employee retention, hiring, and programming. The funds could be administered through a nonprofit PPP program, and a nonprofit grant program administered by the U.S. Treasury.

Additionally, the 500 employee cap under the PPP could be adjusted to support larger nonprofit organizations. This adjustment will allow for more charitable organizations to be able to receive financial aid, to help keep their doors open. Faith-based and charitable nonprofits are on the frontlines of caring for the vulnerable, especially in times of crisis, and the U.S. government should seek to provide the necessary support for these important organizations.

Support Nonprofit K-12 Schools and Families

While the CARES Act allocated funding for K-12 public schools, there was limited support for faith-based educational institutions that educate millions of children. Congress should provide additional support for nonpublic schools, by enacting a tax deduction, retroactive to 2018 for a portion of tuition payments made by parents to a non-public K-12 school. Parents who choose to enroll their children in these institutions are facing financial strain and stress, and many may be unable to pay the full tuition amount. This tax deduction could ease their burden, and also help the public school sector from being overwhelmed if there was an influx of children and youth enrolling.

Provisions to help Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations

Flexibility within the SNAP Benefit Program

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted food supply chains, driving up the price of food, which has a disparate impact for lower-income families. Many families find themselves newly needing to access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). While Congress did expand and increase unemployment insurance and benefits, many families are still unable to feed their children. Malnutrition weakens peoples’ immune systems, and children who are malnourished face long-term health and cognitive consequences.

In addition, not all SNAP recipients are able to purchase groceries online for home delivery. This especially puts the elderly poor in urban areas at particular risk—they risk exposure on public transportation and at grocery stores. Congress should include a provision that legally expands the USDA online SNAP purchasing pilot program to all states, to help vulnerable SNAP recipients be able to safely get food.

Congress should allow for flexibility within the SNAP program, to ensure that individuals’ needs are met, that all Americans have access to food security, and that participants are able to purchase food in ways that keep them safe. SNAP is the most cost-effective anti-hunger program in the United States and has the added benefit of supporting local small businesses. Allowing flexibility within this program will seek to ensure that people’s basic needs are met, and more Americans will have food security.

Flexibility within the Chafee Program for Foster Youth

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee Program) provides funds to states, territories, and Indian tribal entities (states) with material and other support for current and former foster youth. Congress should allow for flexibility within this program to serve and support older youth facing the stress and disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, youth age out of foster care between ages 18 and 21, depending on the state they live in. Congress should allow for all youth, in all states to participate in the Chafee program until age 23. This will provide additional resources for youth who have transitioned out of foster care before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Flexibility on Discharges from the Foster Care System for Youth Ages 18 to 21

Youth in foster care age out between 18 and 21, depending on the state. The statistics are grim for youth that age out under normal circumstances, and many youth experience homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, and are at a higher risk of being trafficked. Congress should place a moratorium on youth aging out during the COVID-19 crisis for youth, ages 18 to 21 to provide safety and security, so they can continue their current living arrangements, and have the support they need. This additional time will help these youth successfully transition out of care.

Flexibility for Compassionate Release in the Federal Prison System

Incarcerated men and women are especially vulnerable in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis because of contained physical space. This is especially true for aging and immunocompromised incarcerated populations. Congress should expand compassionate release during the pandemic, so that higher-risk individuals would be protected from medical harm. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and federal courts use this tool to reduce sentences for federal prisoners on a case-by-case basis for “extraordinary and compelling reasons.”

Congress should temporarily reduce the 30 day waiting period for federal prisoners to file a motion for compassionate release directly with a federal court in order to speed up the process and provide quicker physical and medical relief to those incarcerated.

Use Digital Programming in Federal Prisons

In accordance with social distancing guidelines, federal prisons have restricted traditional face-to-face programming and visitation. These prisons should allow for use of electronic tablets for those incarcerated to allow access to rehabilitative programming while the threat of COVID-19 persists. These programs are crucial for long-term outcomes and community reintegration, and we urge Congress to find ways to ensure that these programs can continue.

Support for Second-Chance Entrepreneurs

The Paycheck Protection Program eligibility requirements deny financial relief to small business owners with a criminal record. An estimated one in three Americans have a criminal record, and the strict requirements hinder many business owners from accessing the Paycheck Protection Program. This restriction places an additional burden on those who have already paid their debt to their communities and who are working to support themselves, their families, and their communities.

To the extent that fraud is a concern, SBA has other tools at its disposal, including audits conducted at the time of loan forgiveness. These new restrictions should be lifted to allow all members of our communities to participate.

Thank you again for your hard work during these difficult times. I appreciate your consideration of these issues I raise here, and I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks.


Russell Moore
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

By / Apr 2

As the coronavirus pandemic rages across the world, Christians are on the front lines offering medical care to those in need. Jeff Pickering welcomes Edward Graham of Samaritan's Purse to the show talk about how their worldwide aid organization is mobilizing medical volunteers to join local hospitals and government authorities in Italy and New York City to respond to the pandemic.

This episode is sponsored by The Good Book Company, publisher of Where is God in a Coronavirus World? by John Lennox  

Guest Biography

Edward Graham is Assistant to the Vice President of Programs and Government Relations at Samaritan's Purse. He is the youngest son of Franklin and Jane Graham, and the grandson of Billy Graham. Edward graduated from the United States Military Academy where he went on to serve 16 years in the US Army. After multiple combat deployments within Special Operations and serving in various leadership positions, he felt called by the Lord to return home and serve in the ministry starting in the winter of 2018. Edward and Kristy have been married for 14 years, and have one daughter and three sons. They are raising their four children in the mountains of North Carolina.

Resources from the Conversation

By / Oct 10

The bond between a grandmother and a grandchild is special. It’s a pure, unconditional exchange of love, support, and care that only sweetens across generations. Winnie knows a thing or two about that bond. Every day, she cares for her own eight grandchildren, all of whom have lost their parents, Winnie’s children, to AIDS.

But she doesn’t stop there. Beneath her roof, she cares for 22 other HIV/AIDS orphans. Her lifestyle is simple, her home is modest, but her love is extravagant, buoyed by the support of Southern Baptists just like you. 

Every week, Winnie receives food packages funded by Global Hunger Relief that provide nutritious food for all of her grandchildren—natural and adopted. She also receives milk powder and infant formula for the younger children, and last year, she received seeds and planted a garden that provided healthy, fresh vegetables for her brood. 

Winnie seeks no recognition and is grateful for the food, formula, and seeds provided by GHR. They are evidence of the loving God in whom she trusts to provide the basic needs of the 30 precious lives that have been entrusted to her. You are by her side, helping Winnie care for and love on her beautiful, growing family through Global Hunger Relief. 

You and GHR around the world  

Outside the United States and Canada, one in nine people experience chronic hunger. Many of these are living in poor, underdeveloped societies, have been displaced from their homes and forced to live in urban slums or refugee camps, or brought to the edge of starvation by famine.

There are millions of Winnies here at home and around the world that need our help. A package of food. A helping hand. A word of truth and encouragement. You give all this and more when you give to Global Hunger Relief.

Together, you and GHR are providing short and long-term solutions. To those who have lost everything, food is offered to meet their immediate needs. But GHR funds also provide agriculture inputs, clean water, and job skills training that helps people provide for their families and break the cycle of poverty.

Hand in hand, you and GHR funded 159 international projects that impacted over 1500 communities and helped almost 500,000 people. All of this was done in a way to demonstrate and share the love of Christ. 

Hunger is also a reality In North America, in which, according to the USDA, more than 15 million households are classified as food insecure families, living at or below the poverty line. 

Last year, through GHR, you funded 2,427 ministries and provided over 16 million meals to hungry North Americans. Almost 150,000 volunteers were involved in the meal distributions resulting in over 1.4 million evangelistic encounters. 

There are millions of Winnies here at home and around the world that need our help. A package of food. A helping hand. A word of truth and encouragement. You give all this and more when you give to Global Hunger Relief.

For more information about GHR, you can visit our website, or donate to GHR today. 

By / Sep 9

Individuals across the Western hemisphere have prayerfully watched and planned for Hurricane Dorian in the last few weeks. The full extent of damage to the United States coastline is yet to be seen. Dorian ranks as the second strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most destructive to ever hit the Bahamas. As the extent of the destruction is revealed, Bahamians and relief workers will be evaluating needs and making plans for recovery.

Although disaster can arrive in an instant, Global Hunger Relief provides a way for Southern Baptists to always be ready to respond with life-saving food in these most critical of situations. 

Established in 1978 as the World Hunger Fund, Global Hunger Relief is an initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention dedicated to combating hunger and sharing the Bread of Life around the world. The ERLC partners with six other organizations in this effort, including Baptist Global Response and the North American Mission Board.  

A team from Baptist Global Response arrived last week to evaluate the needs of the most affected areas in the Bahamas. “The level of destruction is heart-wrenching,” wrote Jeff Palmer, CEO of BGR, in an update this week. “There's a lot of work to be done.” 

BGR is a disaster relief and community development organization. Operating through a network of local and state-side partners, BGR responds to international situations of immediate crisis, as well as remaining on the ground to re-establish communities after devastating losses such as these.  

As a part of the Dorian response, GHR funds will be deployed in gospel-centered hunger projects, both domestically and internationally, in the weeks and months to come. Priorities for relief will be food, water, shelter, and hygiene in the Bahamas. NAMB will work with Baptist state conventions to organize relief efforts in the United States and its territories. 

Churches will have a special opportunity to support the work of Global Hunger Relief next month. On October 13, churches around the United States will host a Global Hunger Sunday, informing their people of the global hunger crisis and leading their congregations to give to meet these critical needs. A variety of free resources are available to help churches tell the story of GHR and equip their people to give. 

Because of the unique partnership through the Southern Baptist Convention, 100% of donations to Global Hunger Relief go toward hunger needs. Nothing is taken out for administrative or promotional costs. 

Updates regarding the work of Baptist Global Response in response to Hurricane Dorian can be found at

By / Jan 24

Southern Baptists are committed to the religious freedom of all people. In 2011, the Southern Baptist Convention re-stated that, “religious liberty is an inalienable human right, rooted in the image of God, and possessed by all human beings.” When individuals are persecuted for their belief in Christ, Southern Baptists exemplify the life of Jesus by praying and advocating for justice of the oppressed (Luke 4:18).

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is leading a genocide against Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria. Over 470,000 Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims have been killed by members of ISIS. Over 9.3 million people in the region are internally displaced and 5 million seek refuge abroad. Targeting religious groups solely for their faith, according to international law, qualifies these massacres as genocide, evoking the most harsh punishments from the international community upon ISIS leaders.

Resources are scarce and time is running out for the families of genocide victims. With so many people to care for, on-the-ground humanitarian organizations do not have the necessary supplies to provide shelter, emergency health care, and food to all the families affected by the ISIS-led genocide. Food and medicine will be depleted in the fall of 2017 if swift and decisive action is not implemented. Tens of thousands of Christians and Yazidis are at grave risk.

The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (HR 390) would ensure that NGOs receive the necessary aid to care for the victims of genocide. If passed, HR 390 would require senior human rights officials in the U.S. State Department to determine how much aid is needed to continue caring for the displaced peoples in Iraq and Syria, and which institutions could be the most effective at using that aid. This bill embodies the United States’ commitment to preserve religious freedom, and prevent and prosecute genocide wherever it occurs.

The United States has a moral obligation to care for the victims of genocide. After the United States ratified the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1988, it bound itself to prevent the victims of genocide anywhere in the world, and to prosecute the perpetrators of genocide. HR 390 would be a declaration to the world that the victims of genocide– the wounded, the homeless, and the orphaned– will not be abandoned by the United States.

By / Jun 1

Dr. Russell Moore provides and update on the efforts of Southern Baptists in Nepal following the devastating earthquakes earlier this year. Give now to support relief efforts at