March 18th, 2011
12:56 PM ET

Franklin Graham sending 90 tons of aid to Japan

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

The Rev. Franklin Graham on Friday was readying what he described as an airlift of more than 90 tons of emergency supplies from North Carolina to earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan.

“I want the people of Japan to know that God hasn’t forgotten them, that God does care for them and that he loves them,” said Graham, who is organizing the effort through his group Samaritan’s Purse.

The aid includes blankets, hygiene supplies and plastic sheeting for shelters, according to a statement from Samaritan’s Purse.

Graham said he is hoping the U.S. military will help unload a Boeing 747 carrying the aid, which is scheduled to leave the U.S. Friday and arrive in Japan on Saturday.

Japan's National Police Agency said Friday that the death toll from the monster earthquake and ensuing tsunami had climbed to 6,911, with another 10,316 people missing. Some 380,000 people are staying in shelters, Japan's official Kyodo News reported.

Graham said pallets of emergency supplies for his airlift were purchased by individuals, groups and business, including country musician Ricky Skaggs and Lowe's home improvement stores.

A Samaritan’s Purse team in Japan is planning to distribute the supplies through local churches, though Graham said travel restrictions within a 50-mile radius of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant would make the job difficult.

“I've led festivals through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Okinawa and Osaka, and my father visited Japan six times during his ministry,” Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, said in a statement. “So the first thing we did after the earthquake was to contact our church partners in Japan.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • Christian Science • Japan • Leaders

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Noah Coldren

    While "home improvement" often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, it can also include improvements to lawns, gardens, and outdoor structures, such as gazebos and garages. It also encompasses maintenance, repair and general servicing tasks.,...,

    http://healthwellnessbook.comPlease do stop by our favorite blog site

    May 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  2. Greg

    I'll be happy as long as not one pound of that aid contains any religious propaganda.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  3. T-party

    good for Graham, Whether he is religious or not he should donate. Most agnostics I know are donating as we donate to most all charities and disasters all the time.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  4. Reality

    An updated message via a prayer and at no cost to you and no profit for "propheteering" evangelicals:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    (if you want to make a donation, make the check out to the USA Federal government i.e. us taxpayers whose contributions to disasters like Haiti and Ja-pan far exceed those of the "non-profits" and we do so without all the "Jesus Saves" mumbo jumbo.)

    Gifts to the United States
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782"

    March 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  5. Jeff

    I think it is appropriate that Graham identifies the organizations involved. Whether or not that implies "strings" is up to the recipient, since people will receive the donations regardless of what they believe, presumably.

    From the Christian standpoint, there is an obligation to present gifts as being from God and not from the agents delivering them. Surely even those that disagree with the premise can see that this is consistent with what Graham has done before.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:47 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.