TBN Puts Legs to Gospel With Compassionate Outreach
LOS ANGELES (April 19, 2012) — “The heart of the Gospel is compassion,” says Dr. Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world’s largest religious broadcaster and America’s most-watched faith channel. “It is God’s heart of compassion and mercy for us that allows us to reach out to others in their distress and need.”
Dr. Crouch is not only referring to TBN’s broadcast outreach, that sends the hope of the Gospel to billions all over the world via its family of 16 inspirational networks in multiple languages. Over the years TBN has also been on the ground in some of the most intense hot spots of hurting and need, bringing millions of dollars in humanitarian aid, equipment, and manpower — along with emotional and spiritual healing — to those devastated by natural disaster, disease, and poverty.
When Hurricane Katrina hit America’s southeastern coast in August 2005, TBN partnered with humanitarian ministry Friend Ships to take hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of food, water, clothing, emergency building supplies, medical help — and spiritual encouragement — to the most devastated areas of New Orleans. With monetary gifts, supplies, and a Bell JetRanger helicopter — appropriately named “Wings of Love” — donated by TBN, Friend Ships was able to dock its 180-foot cutter Hope in the heart of the devastation, reaching out to those in need ahead of many other rescue efforts.
And when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, killing over 200,000 and leaving millions homeless and hurting, TBN again deployed with Friend Ships, helping to fill one of the ministry’s outreach vessels, the Integrity, with thousands of tons of emergency supplies critical to the survival of the earthquake’s victims. In addition to food, water, medical equipment, and the “Wings of Love” helicopter used for shuttling emergency personnel, the ship was loaded with three 13,000 pound electrical generators TBN had used over the years for filming on-location programs and movies like Megiddo and Omega Code. The generators, which were trucked from TBN’s California studios and loaded on to the Integrity, powered eight mobile medical units set up by Friend Ships to treat the injured and sick in Haiti.
“For many years TBN has been an important partner in the work we have been doing all over the world,” said Sondra Tipton, who co-founded Friend Ships with her husband Don. “Immediately after the news came through of the earthquake and the desperate need of the people in Haiti, the Crouches and TBN were first in line with the resources Friend Ships needed to launch a quick response.”
The heart of TBN co-founder Jan Crouch has been in Haiti since she first visited the poverty-stricken nation in the mid-1980s, witnessing first-hand the families — especially the children — struggling to survive. “When I saw the poor children — diseased, crippled, naked, and most of all pathetically hungry boys and girls — playing in gutters in the filthiest water I had ever seen, it was beyond comprehension,” she recalls. “My heart broke into a million pieces. I just knew that something had to be done.”
Jan went back home and launched the Smile of a Child outreach, which began simply as a mission to take food and toys to the children of Haiti. “Many of the children had never owned a new toy,” recalled Jan of the first time she took a load of toys back to the country. “To see their faces light up when they receive a doll or new truck cannot be expressed in mere words — it is truly priceless.”
Today Smile of a Child has expanded into a global outreach, taking food, toys, educational resources, and medical care to needy youngsters worldwide. And since 2005, TBN’s Smile of a Child television network has broadcast life-changing and entertaining programming to children the world over.
“Jesus said that when we help the most needy and hurting among us, we are connecting with Him in a way that touches His heart,” explained Dr. Crouch of TBN’s outreach. “Jesus urged us all ‘to love and care for one another,’ and when we work to do that, we serve Him, and that is the heart of the Christian call.”
To find out more about TBN’s compassionate outreach, visit www.smileofachild.org.
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