Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Three days ago marked the birthdate of Billy Graham, one of America’s greatest evangelists. These facts are connected because Graham demonstrated his “desire to minister to our troops by my prayers and spiritual help wherever I can.”
During the Vietnam War, Billy Graham visited remote areas to minister to service members. Such travel was not always easy or convenient. This is illustrated in one of his books (Note 1) by his description of one particularly scary flight.
“Another flight, this one skittering over the treetops, was just as hair-raising. The weather was worse that time, and only one volunteer – a colonel – came forward to fly the Team to some spots near the front. The plane was a two-motor job with a big hole in the back. At one point, the colonel and I both let out a roar when a mountain appeared right in front of the windscreen. He pulled back on the stick as hard as he could, and I heard the back of the plane scape the treetops. We finally made an impossible landing at a remote site, and not a moment too soon for my taste. I led a short service with the troops… Then, the colonel made an impossible takeoff for another spot fifteen minutes away. And so it went throughout the day.”
Billy Graham knew that his unsettling flight was nothing compared to the perils faced by service men and women during war, and its aftermath. But Graham served in the best way he could, and in faithfulness to God’s calling on his life.
Note 1 – Just As I Am, Billing Graham (1918 – 2018)