Our Global History
"Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."
Bob Pierce wrote these now-famous words in his Bible after visiting suffering children on the Korean island of Kojedo. This impassioned prayer is what guided him as he founded and led the ministry of Samaritan's Purse in 1970. His mission for this organisation was "to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches".
After World War II, Bob Pierce travelled throughout Asia as an evangelist and journalist with Youth For Christ. While on a university lecturing circuit in China, he stumbled across some courageous women who were living among leprosy sufferers and orphans, sacrificing everything to share the love of Jesus Christ. Through their selfless love, God gave Pierce a vision for ministry. He dedicated himself to finding and supporting other such Christians who were caring for the poor and suffering in the distant corners of the world.
In the summer of 1973, Bob Pierce met his eventual successor, an adventurous young student named Franklin Graham with a growing heart for world mission. Intrigued by his many stories from the field, Franklin began to spend more and more time with the seasoned Christian statesman. In 1975, he accompanied Bob on a life-changing tour of some of the world's neediest mission fields. God had captured his heart for mission.
Bob Pierce died of leukemia in 1978, and nearly 18 months later, Franklin Graham became the President and Chairman of the Board of Samaritan's Purse. Through almost 30 years of earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, and famine, Franklin has led the ministry in following the biblical example of the Good Samaritan all across the globe. God has blessed the organisation under Franklin's leadership, and the ministry has seen explosive growth.
Our UK & Ireland History
Samaritan's Purse was launched in the UK by the legendary Dr. Billy Graham in 1990 following his visit to Scotland. After just twelve months, Samaritan's Purse UK had a support base of over four thousand people from a cross-section of individual Christians and churches in the UK.
In 1995, Operation Christmas Child, a Wrexham-based children's charity, announced its merger with Samaritan's Purse. Since 1995, the organisation has gone from strength to strength - starting new development initiatives in Africa and Central Asia as well as being part of the global Samaritan's Purse response to humanitarian disasters such as the Darfur Crisis, the South Asian Tsunami, the Pakistan Earthquake, the Myanmar Cyclone and the China Earthquake.
In 1998, encouraged by the global growth of Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse was launched in Ireland and grew very quickly. In 2009 209,000 shoeboxes were collected in Ireland.
Since 2006, we have also launched new campaigns - including Turn on the Tap, Positive Impact and Alive to Thrive - to enable individuals, churches, schools and businesses in the UK to become part of our work overseas.
Today, we are one of the top fifty UK charities by income size and part of a number of national and international networks, including BOND, End Water Poverty, StopAIDS and Evangelical Alliance/Global Connections. Samaritan’s Purse in the UK and Ireland came under the same management and direction in August 2010.
No matter where we go or what we do, we offer more than help. We offer hope. To suffering people in a broken world, we share the news of the only One who can bring true peace-Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.