When I published this blog post about the passing of Billy Graham this year, I remembered an interesting medical connection.
Billy Graham once preached in China, a country well known to his wife because she grew up there. Ruth Bell lived there with her parents who were missionaries. And not just any missionaries.
Her father, L. Nelson Bell was a surgeon at a mission hospital in Tsingkiang, China where for 25 years he operated on thousands of patients.
When the Bells were forced to return to America by the outbreak of World War II he not only resumed a busy medical practice but became editor of two influential Christian magazines and an active leader in his denomination.
In his book The Journey, Graham wrote about his father-in-law,
After Ruth and I were married he became one of my closest friends and advisers, someone whose wise counsel I always respected . I never met anyone who was more disciplined or more determined to make every minute count.
The story doesn’t end there. In 1977 two surgeons wanted to volunteer to work in mission hospitals during their vacation. Their efforts developed into World Medical Mission, a branch of the humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse.
Today, hundreds of volunteer Christian healthcare professionals serve in overseas mission hospitals and clinics. The organization also provides critically needed medical equipment and supplies, along with biomedical technicians to install, repair, and maintain the equipment at these facilities.
Leading Samaritan’s Purse as President and CEO- Dr. Bell’s grandson, Franklin Graham, son of Ruth and Billy.
And in the Bolivian Amazon basin, the Ruth Bell riverboat delivers medical and dental care to remote communities, just like her father did in China many years ago.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Reverend Billy Graham- America’s Preacher
John 3:16 is reported to be Billy Graham’s favorite Bible verse. He included it in every sermon he preached because it contains everything he wanted people to know about God.
Even though he is called America’s Preacher, Billy Graham traveled and preached all over the world, including China, the Soviet Union, Europe, Australia, Africa, and North Korea.
On February 21, 2018, the Reverend Billy Graham died at 99 years of age. He is well known as a preacher, speaker, and evangelist, but he also wrote books. Here are links to some of them.
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And Dr. Bell’s story is told in A Foreign Devil in China
Please join me in extending prayers of sympathy to the Graham family and appreciation for sharing their father/grandfather with the world. Thank you.