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Rev. Franklin Graham encourages local Jewish and Arab pastors while visiting Israel in 'middle of a storm'

Graham reminds the leaders that 'God’s Word works, doesn’t come back void'

Rev. Franklin Graham addresses a group of pastors and leaders from across Israel in Jerusalem, Nov. 15, 2023. (Photo: ALL ISRAEL NEWS)

Reverend Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, is in Israel this week, where he has been meeting with leaders of the hardest hit communities from the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists. 

Graham is the first major Evangelical leader to visit Israel since the invasion. 

On Wednesday evening, after a packed schedule of meetings with various leaders in Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rev. Graham met with a group of pastors and leaders of congregations from across the nation of Israel. 

In a very intimate setting, Graham shared a message of encouragement for the leaders based on the story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee during a storm. 

“The boat of the Lord Jesus doesn’t sink,” Graham told the assembled leaders. 

“Your country is caught in the middle of a storm,” Graham said. “You weren’t expecting this.” 

“Within a matter of hours, everything changed for everyone. Israel changed, it won’t be the same,” Graham stated. “The world is changing. A storm that you weren’t planning on.” 

“The disciples were afraid for their lives. Many people today are afraid for their lives,” Graham shared. 

“Jesus Christ is alive,” Graham proclaimed. “There is Holy Spirit-filled power in this message.” 

“God’s Word works,” Graham said to the attendees. “His Word doesn’t come back void.”

Graham encouraged the leaders to use the scriptures as they continue to meet with Israelis who are grieving and troubled during the conflict. 

He described reading the scriptures to an Israeli mother of one who was killed in the attacks on Oct. 7. 

“I wish I could hear more,” she told Rev. Graham after he read several passages from the Old Testament to her. 

“The Bible is God’s word from cover to cover,” Graham reminded the leaders. “This week, sharing with Jewish people who have been hurt, I saw time and time again, God’s word begin to speak to people’s hearts. Don’t waste an opportunity.” 

Sar El Tours Founder and President Samuel Smadja, who accompanied Rev. Graham on his travels in Israel, shared how the leader of Samaritan’s Purse met with representatives from Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical services agency. 

After seeing several burned-out and destroyed ambulances from the attacks, Graham promised that the Samaritan’s Purse ministry would replace the same number of ambulances lost. 

Graham also met with the mother of a young medic who was killed by Hamas terrorists while treating people injured in the attacks, as well as the wife of a young doctor who was working in the same team, who was also killed.

He promised to dedicate the first two ambulances to the names and memories of the two men who gave their lives while working to rescue others. 

Toward the end of the meeting, several of the congregational leaders told Graham how his father, Reverend Billy Graham, had been instrumental in their own spiritual journeys. 

Nazareth Pastor Saleem Shalash shared with Franklin Graham how influential his father, Billy Graham, had been in his growth as a Christian. He also shared briefly about the aid his Arab Christian congregation has been giving to Jewish families affected by Hamas attacks.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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