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From the Archives | Christmas at the Graham House: An Interview with Franklin Graham

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2021 3:00 am

From the Archives | Christmas at the Graham House: An Interview with Franklin Graham

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 11, 2021 3:00 am

In a special episode, we revisit a conversation between Pastor Greg Laurie and Franklin Graham. The two discuss the legacy of Billy Graham, and Franklin reminisces about Christmas traditions in the Graham household. 

Franklin also describes his start at the far-reaching ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, and shares stories of impact through their initiative, Operation Christmas Child. 

Watch the video of this full interview here.

Franklin Graham has devoted his life to meeting the needs of people around the world and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The eldest son of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, he serves as President and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Learn more about Samaritan’s Purse at


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Hey there Victor, listening to the great glory part just a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. To learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to welcome Franklin back to harvest welcome. When you look at that old archival footage that was a pretty cool little motorbike by the way, what what we write.

I saved up Greg all for two years my parents went by informing is called a little of my company called out of Mansfield, Ohio, and remember the day that it arrived after I had worked two years for that was a big big day in my life when back in those old videos that what comes to mind is it's sort of like going back in time to you with those days that does that make you sad, happy, a mixture of both of those emotions know I think you're gorgeous thankful thankful for the home that was raised in for the parents, godly parents that love God, that shared not only Christ in the home, but they they lived it. Ruth and Billy Graham at the ranch on television.

They were different people at home. It was the same people and softest mental pictures and your father Billy is like a larger than life figure would ever come into your room in the middle of the night and say something like do you like that without ever happened.

You give us a lot of space I can ever remember my father coming into my bedroom and I just figure that was my room that was MySpace and my mother that's different and I can remember time recommitment gone quite a one-time break he was going to Australia for six months and your people would say what, how, how could somebody do that we have to remember after the second world when we had soldiers that have been gone for three and four years fighting and ending our freedom and my father was starting his ministry, how can we go halfway around the world in just over two weeks. He felt that they were being a bad steward of the Lord's resources something now had to do it over again he wouldn't do that back then under those circumstances. Also, I think I've actually heard in an interview with Greg Van Susteren if you can change anything.

He would probably spend more time with his family spend more time studying and less time speaking, not preaching, he would get invitations all the time you come dedicate this article speaketh that he wishes. Now he had not done all that go back to that photo that they just have that there is enough of it.

There is the expression you still have that expression today in this expression, the Franklin, this is when he is about to do something naughty to say something or do something you really haven't changed that much. Well thanks we don't each other a long time. Okay so Christmas in the Graham homes. What was it like would you get up in the morning.

Would you open the presents in the morning. Would you open Christmas Eve out of work there know we would Christmas Eve we were Corso, my father would read the Christmas story telling them every year you every year then Christmas morning we would have time a prayer before we open up and it just would normally open up without my mother. My mother loved Christmas.

She got a big kick out of this house was always decorated to the hilt. We had the stockings and I'm at when you're a good ashes and switches in mind you, ashes, and switches passes and switches. So then anyone why did you receive such a gift because I deserved to me back to that expression that you are in Canada. Troublemaking little boy went to well I don't know how troublemaking I have three older sisters that just brought about running from the cops in your car. The gate was shut behind you that's troublemaking well that was a long time.

I can so looks like your dad giving you little talking to you that your brother Nettie's talking to and and then there you are holding the football team in 20 your boys look so much like you looked Carson that Graham resemblance goes right to the family.

Okay, so he would read the Christmas story to you what kind of a meal what you guys have.

Like what the Christmas dinner in the Graham home for at that time in my mother was born in China. Parents were were missionary to China. He was a missionary surgeon and somewhere along the way they developed a this is why they did this. Oysters do for Christmas morning I met I don't like oyster stew. And and and having it for breakfast.

So my mother would have the sources to nobody aided my father ate it because he had to. We just roll up our noses and their luncheon was turkey and ham all the cost of that oyster stew business. If you families out there that want to try something different. Have oyster students Christmas and just see how well it goes over 10 so what was your favorite Christmas gift you received as a child you know we live in a rural area and so our gifts were probably a little unconventional usually got a gun for Christmas and they got in the backyard and shoot squirrels and those kinds of things so that was how Christmas of the Graham soon as you grow older you get, every time of rebellion. We mentioned and you did make a commitment to Christ to follow him and it took over an organization called Samaritans purse that was started by Bob Pierce and the ministry began to grow, but did you have sort of apprehension about being a preacher because your father such a noted preacher, did you want to maybe run this organization and not be a guy who preach the gospel, or would you be comfortable getting up there preaching right away know I know I never felt in those early days that God was calling me to preach records.

Why would I want to put myself in a situation Robbie compared to my father I could never be Billy Graham and so why be in that position. So I was comfortable running Samaritans person and doing the work and our listener desires always been to lead people to Christ to stand up on stage or platform and preach the gospel give an invitation. I didn't feel that calling really until about oh, I guess, is not 20 some years ago and then I just thought this was something God was calling to do and if it disappointed somebody or follow if I didn't measure up in their eyes is talking about preach the gospel because I believe the gospel is the power of God and the salvation that everyone I wasn't trying to be my father will imitate him is simply preaching the gospel because it's God's word and it's his gospel. What would you say in a nutshell, is the gospel define the gospel that God loves us and that he sent his son from heaven to this earth to take our sins, that he died and shed his blood for our sins on Calvary's cross. He was buried for our sins and God raised him to life. The third day, and he will come into your heart. If you're willing to accept I'm entrusting by faith. One of the things I appreciate your about you Franklin is not only do you preach the gospel but as we collect these boxes. This is an evangelistic ministry and other relief agencies out there humanitarian organizations. Then there are even Christian humanitarian organizations that maybe they do it in the name of Christ, but they don't necessarily present Christ in their work that they do.

But what I like about Samaritans purse as you are a great humanitarian organization you provide relief for people all around the world, but always with a view to bring the gospel. I think that's because your call as an evangelist and that so important is great we can give gifts to children all day long. Put a smile on their face and what have you done for them when you can give a gift and amassed people. When you pack a box to pray for the buck you just pray for the boxes that are coming tonight, but we also as people put your picture in there and put your address on the back what we want not only to pray for the children we we want the children to get the boxes see who gave the box that they can to write back in Great Britain the first time that I know of that happened just about three weeks ago in our office. A young couple came and got to get some boxes and these boxes have been collected on their their wedding day. This little boy Tyler seven years of age from Idaho had packed a shoe box 20 years ago and thought that the gift would bring a lot of joy to somebody's life and a little girl in the Philippines got this box and in the boxes.

This picture of Tyler AV had a cowboy shirt on. He had his malaria and seven-year-old boy from Idaho from a form of small ranch and on the back was address a few voting buddy never got the letter about 10 years later she thought were tribes Facebook and saw a lot of timers came about only one from Idaho and now that picture didn't look like it was his much older. Well she has to be his friend and the next day he got this Facebook page or some girl in the Philippines. I wanted to be his friend and clicked on and it was him and they began to have a relationship on Facebook and they have a lot of things in common. The love music and the other things and so he saved up his money and he went to go visit her and they fell in love and they are now married and adopted. We've had. There are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of kids every year come to faith in Christ. But I think this is the first couple about first matchmaking new ministry that God I'm not that smart and amazing so the exchange photos as little children ended up meeting each other as adults. Another Mary well. He said that the joy that he hoped that that box of gift, which I never dreamed that that joy would be coming back to him a great thought something so you know what we tell the people put a photo of yourself inside the box. I mean this really can make a difference in you that many children come to Christ damage with this girl got the box from Tyler. Because of that. If she came to faith in Christ.

Her father came to faith in Christ and then later became a pastor while so she wanted this boy to know what what God had done for her family. She he wanted her to know the changes that it that had made in their life.

The great this year we have every every box that we give out. We have a discipleship program that we offer to the churches that help us around the world within 100 in different countries and we have these leadership teams in every country and we offer a discipleship program is called the greatest journey. The first year we had about that. This is three years been doing it the first year we had about 800,000 this past year we had like 1.3 million this year will have 2.3 million kids in discipleship program around the world is a 12 week discipleship program.

We train the teachers we have a workbook and then the kids have to memorize Scripture they have to say the Scripture before their past graduation ceremony and then everyone. The graduates we give a Bible to but I want to raise up another generation army of evangelist who are kids young kids who are willing to share their faith with with other children and that's that's what we trying to do that's amazing.

You know in the Christmas season. With so many people busy and the opportunities will come to share the gospel enough family gathering if you're the Christian and the family.

Sometimes people will say, why don't you do the prayer. Whatever you know you that all these opportunities to share the gospel. Everything from news programs to meeting with you know prime ministers and and dictators. Sometimes you been in a lot of amazing situations. Do you Franklin Graham ever get intimidated accounts, hard to bring the gospel up but you always just that this can wholeness and you're ready to go with it. I think there are times you do get intimidated out in court that the devil want you to get into what you do when you're intimidated first about. Normally you get intimidated when you have a bright enough job where someone catches you off guard and then all of a sudden there there in your face and there being compatible. I don't believe in your God am in now. How could you believe in a God that kills people and then all of a sudden you find yourself a little bit on the defensive, but great it's it's it's before you are going to program any time down. I always just pray Lord help me because I can't do this alone, so I just it's a prayer does help me and if I can lift up your son tonight or today, and father, help me to lift up your son and that's just been a prayer of mine all my life and in God always gives opportunity as you always do a great job.

If you've ever seen Franklin out there. This guy is fearless, sees as bold as a lion, and he shares the gospel and were appreciative of that your ministry of your life. And of course of your family and now so your father getting on in years but the walking with the Lord is looking forward to going to have and how you've been preaching the gospel for years and your son will we had out not long ago is also out there preaching the gospel, and did a fantastic job so great were are grateful to the friendship of the harvest in the court of the million boxes that have come through harvest everybody up every box is needed because every box gives us an opportunity to touch a child and to touch a child somewhere in the world in the name of Jesus Christ. So again, thank you for these gifts. Thank you for your summer? Happy to do it. Everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to and find out how to know God personally go to and click on know God

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