As COVID-19 continues to ravage our nation, it’s been challenging to stay home and away from others. But we’ve followed the recommendations of our leaders because, as Christians, that’s what we’re called to do. We social distance and self-quarantine to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.
So, what else can Christians do to put our love in action?
Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham’s global outreach organization, saw the overwhelming need in New York City—and went to the frontlines. On April 1 they set up a field hospital in Central Park where their team of healthcare workers have since provided medical care for 315 patients infected with COVID-19. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does: they help those in need and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But as this Samaritan crossed the street to tend to the proverbial beaten man, that man has looked into the eyes of his rescuer and said, “Go away, I don’t want your help.” This familiar Bible story from the mouth of Jesus has been shockingly flipped. Instead of potential helpers ignoring a person in need, because of intolerance and selfishness, the one in desperate need refused care in the name of bigotry.
Despite the organization’s mission to help people in crises—all people, in all parts of world—some people wanted them to pack up their field hospital and their “hateful” attitudes. Because this Christian organization holds firmly to its Christian principles, some believe they aren’t welcome in New York City. NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson declared that the organization was inciting “hate” and said, “It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC.”
My statement on Samaritan’s Purse:
It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC. This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed. 1/
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) May 1, 2020
However, Franklin Graham says they were not kicked out of New York City and had an excellent relationship with Mt. Sinai. See video excerpt below from Glenn Beck’s show.
.@SamaritansPurse president @Franklin_Graham sets the record straight: "We're NOT BEING KICKED OUT" of Central Park. In fact, Mt. Sinai hospital called THEM and still supports them! pic.twitter.com/HuO824xw6O
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 4, 2020
Mt. Sinai initially extended the invitation to Samaritan’s Purse, and the field hospital was always meant to be a temporary assist for overflow. Now that the need has been quelled, the Central Park hospital can be closed. The hateful outcry from a few activists on the City Council has nothing to do with the field hospital’s closure.
Patients will stop being admitted to the field hospital as of May 4, but the Samaritan’s Purse team is still helping the hospital system around the city—continuing to put the love of Christ into action.
We encourage you to consider a gift in support of Samaritan’s Purse.