Well, allow me to say this is a posthumous luminary of the year, I have been trying to avoid this but then, something in him said these are the real people to be recognized if though they are no more. But their legacy still stands up till date and has really help a lot of lives. We will be having one or two people like this, in this edition of 2018 Luminaries of the year.
Robert Willard Pierce, born October 6, 1914, Died in November 6, 1978 at the age of 64. He was an American Baptist minister and relief worker. He is best known as the founder of the international charity organizations World Vision International in 1950 and Samaritan’s Purse in 1970.
After working as a youth pastor in his father-in-law’s church, Bob Pierce was discovered by the organization Youth For Christ. In the late 1940’s he was sent by that organization over to China to hold youth rallies and evangelistic campaigns. It was there that it became evident that the grace of God was powerfully upon his life. Letters written to his family contain thrilling accounts of huge meetings and thousands of conversions.
It was heady stuff for a young evangelist. Bob was even entertained by Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and presented her with a Bible. He had gone to China as a nobody, and quickly became a man of international stature. Having tasted the fruit of the promised land of anointed ministry, and the joy of walking in the calling and gifts of God for his life, he became a man with a purpose.
His ministry continued to expand. In Korea, he saw similar phenomenal results. A typical day there might begin at 6:30 a.m., when he would preach to soldiers at an army camp chapel, then to a girl’s high school for a 9:00 a.m. meeting. At 1:00 p.m. he would share at a boys’ high school, at 3:00 at an assembly for teachers and faculty, and then preach at 7:30 that evening in the city’s largest auditorium. On such a day he would speak before four to six thousand people and see hundreds make commitments to receive Christ.
In the summer of 1973, Bob Pierce met his eventual successor, an adventurous young student named Franklin Graham with a growing heart for world missions. Intrigued by his many stories from the field, Franklin began to spend more and more time with the seasoned Christian statesman. In 1975, he accompanied Bob on a life-changing tour of some of the world’s neediest mission fields. Franklin saw the poverty of pagan religions and the utter despair of the people they enslave. God had captured his heart for missions.
On one of the best charity organization in the world founded by him Samaritan’s Purse he said “Go and do likewise,” Christ commanded after explaining the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. So we do. Samaritan’s Purse travels the world’s highways looking for victims along the way. We are quick to bandage the wounds we see, but like the Samaritan, we don’t stop there. In addition to meeting immediate, emergency needs, we help these victims recover and get back on their feet.