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Dear friend,

The parable of the Good Samaritan was Jesus’ answer to this question: “Who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). Christ made it clear that Christians should go out of our way to help those in need.

The same question guides our work every day at Samaritan’s Purse, as we follow the example of the Good Samaritan and reach out to meet physical and spiritual needs of those who are hurting or lost.

Sometimes, our neighbours in need are almost next door. After bushfires devastated the town of Tathra in New South Wales, Samaritan’s Purse deployed our Disaster Relief Unit and a team of volunteers to help dozens of families recover.

At other times, our neighbours are halfway around the world. In Liberia, for example, the support of Australians like you have made it possible for Samaritan’s Purse to minister to survivors of the Ebola epidemic and help them start small businesses so they  can support their families.

Samaritan’s Purse has been working in Liberia for 15 years as the west African nation has gone through one crisis after another. I was in Liberia in 2016 to dedicate a mission hospital built by Samaritan’s Purse and to pay my respects at a memorial for Ebola victims. The epidemic killed more than 4,000 Liberians in 2014 and almost took the life of one of our doctors, Kent Brantly.

The virus that caused Ebola has long-term effects and can cause cataracts that lead to blindness. Samaritan’s Purse has sent medical teams to Liberia to restore the eyesight of almost a hundred Ebola survivors.

Ebola also takes a toll on families who have lost their primary breadwinner. Widows and orphans are now raising large families and struggling to keep everyone fed. We launched a program called “One Life” to support Ebola survivors and give them the training and resources they need to establish small businesses and start generating income.

For one woman named Ruth, Samaritan’s Purse helped her start a sewing business. Our teams not only gave her a sewing machine, cloth and thread, but we trained her in how to run her shop, and gave her food for her family while she was getting started. Our workers have also helped her learn how to read and write, which will not only help her business but also open up a world of possibilities.

All of us at Samaritan’s Purse are grateful for the generous gifts and faithful prayers of people like you as we work to help our neighbours in need.

Franklin Graham

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