A Milestone for Samaritan's Purse Medical Missions
October 1, 2003 - Billy Graham wasn't the only person giving a life-changing invitation at his 1977 Crusade in Asheville, N.C. At a chance meeting on the Crusade platform, BGEA associate evangelist Akbar Haqq invited brothers Lowell and Richard Furman, both surgeons, to make a medical mission trip to his native India.
by Tom Layton
The Furmans' eye-opening trips to India in 1978 marked the beginning of World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan's Purse, which has sent more than 1,400 Christian physicians to 60-plus countries in 25 years of overseas service.
"After we went to India," Richard Furman said, "we realized that the need overseas far exceeded the need here. Someone had to meet that need."
The Furmans approached Franklin Graham when he was still in college and expressed their desire to volunteer for a short-term assignment in a mission hospital. Franklin accepted the challenge to lead the organization and used the experience to finish the coursework for his business administration degree.
Franklin and the Furmans shaped a unique organization that sends Christian doctors who are willing to tithe their time and pay their way on short-term trips to needy countries. When Franklin accepted the leadership of Samaritan's Purse, World Medical Mission was a logical addition to the ministry.
By coordinating the service of hundreds of physicians each year, World Medical Mission provides the equivalent of more than 20 full-time missionary doctors. Volunteers bring care and medical expertise, provide relief and support for career missionaries, and share the Gospel.
Since becoming the medical arm of Samaritan's Purse, World Medical Mission has grown into much more than a missionary-sending organization. It also provides equipment, supplies and technical support to dozens of hospitals, and it enables Samaritan's Purse to provide emergency medical services in crises around the world.
Doctors interested in serving overseas may contact World Medical Mission at (828) 262-1980 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.