Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse Dedicate Two MDA Ambulances in Israel

Posted By : Devick Sellam April 11, 2016

DSC_0854In the shadow of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Tower of David, representatives from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse proudly dedicated two new Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulances that will begin saving lives in the Galilee and Golan Heights regions of northern Israel.

MDA is Israel’s national paramedic, ambulance, and blood services organization, serving all of the state’s 8 million people. While mandated by the Israeli government to act as the nation’s sole emergency response and humanitarian aid agency, MDA does not receive government funding, instead relying on donations, like those from Billy Graham and Samaritan’s Purse, to fund its lifesaving work.

The two ambulances were first dedicated in December 2015 at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. Last week’s ceremony in Jerusalem officially ushered the new ambulances into MDA’s fleet, and they will immediately be deployed to the streets of Israel to save lives. The event in Jerusalem celebrated life and the unique partnership between the state of Israel and the Christian community in the United States. Among the guests were Ken Barun, chief of staff for the Billy Graham Evangelic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, and his wife, Sethea; Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations for Samaritan’s Purse, and his wife, Carolyn; William Koenig, commentator and White House correspondent, and his wife, Claudia; and David Frankel, CEO of American Friends of Magen David Adom, the EMS organization’s U.S-based affiliate.

The ambulance sponsorships by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse continue a trend of church communities and activists rallying around MDA. Pastor John Hagee, through his Hagee Ministries, donated funds for two MDA ambulances in late 2014. And high-profile ministries such as Bridges for Peace and Ralph Sexton Evangelistic Association have lent their support with their sponsorship of ambulances.

“Christians and Jews may often feel helpless in critical times yet it is comforting that the faithful of both religions are united in providing life — saving care and equipment for all, regardless of faith or creed,” Barun told the guests at the dedication in Jerusalem.

“This generosity of two ambulances — in this critical moment in the history of Israel — is seen as the embodiment of the principle of tikkun olam, repairing the world, as reflected in MDA’s mission,” said AFMDA CEO Frankel. “With friends as committed and loyal as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, we at AFMDA can continue providing ever-increasing resources for emergency needs as Israel deals with daily life-threatening obstacles.”

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