A 68-bed emergency field hospital now stands in the middle of New York City’s Central Park, the product of a herculean effort of Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse.
Since its inception in 1970, the ministry’s goal has been “to meet emergency needs in crisis” – and there is no greater humanitarian plight in the world today than the coronavirus global pandemic, the epicenter of which is now in the middle of the Empire State’s largest city.
Earlier in March, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a similar medical response team to Cremona, Italy, an area likewise hard hit by the virus.
How has the team been received in New York City?
Gotham’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, told reporters he was “very concerned” that such a religiously conservative organization was serving in his city.
In response, Mayor de Blasio has been regularly sending city officials to monitor the ministry’s efforts.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is actually concerned Samaritan’s Purse medical professionals may turn away those in need due to their sexual orientation.
“We need reassurances from the city and from Mt. Sinai (sponsoring hospital) that Samaritan’s Purse and its volunteers will be monitored, and that the LGBTQ community will not be discriminated against in any way,” Mr. Johnson tweeted. “This is a crisis, but our values remain.”
Edward Graham, who is Franklin Graham’s son and who serves on the disaster relief team, has made clear that Samaritan’s Purse serves all.
“We’re going to love on everybody, doesn’t matter the sex, race or age,” Edward said. “Just as the Good Samaritan went to someone that no one else wanted to love or other people wanted to bypass, we will not bypass, we will share the hope and love of Jesus Christ.”
Given the bias and propaganda that’s regularly dished out in the mainstream press and on social media, it’s no wonder that individuals like de Blasio and Johnson are so ignorant or misinformed, believing so much that simply isn’t true.
To those inclined toward their perspective, I want to encourage them and those in the “LGBTQ” community to consider the greater and heroic good that the men and women of Samaritan’s Purse are engaged in.
If the LGBTQ community and its allies were to harness resources to set up a hospital in Central Park, I would be thanking them – not criticizing them. In a pluralistic country like ours, Americans may well have deep differences about many things, but helping and nursing our fellow citizens back to health should not be controversial. The LGBTQ movement and its advocates need to mature into something bigger than themselves.
Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot? If the conservative mayor of New York City sent his people to make sure the LGBTQ temporary hospital and its staff behaved themselves or else?
People would be outraged – and incredulous.
But somehow because this great organization, Samaritan’s Purse, is led and run on basic Christian principles, it must be monitored by the mayor’s staff. That, too, should be an outrage!
We should be grateful for Franklin Graham and the team at Samaritan’s Purse. Rather than castigating them they should be celebrated – and prayed for on a regular basis.
The coronavirus is taking our measure on so many levels. It’s also magnifying culture’s bias and exposing our nation’s sins and shortcomings.
Please join me in lifting up these good men and women on Samaritan’s Purse emergency medical team, praying for their safety as well as the health and eternal destiny of those whom they are serving in New York City.
Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.