To much of the world, it was a tragic but small event on the far side of the globe.
To Franklin Graham, it was a devastating personal loss. He recounted the story on his Facebook page.
“Thirty-four adults and children were killed in a horrific bus crash on their way to a church service in Madagascar a few days ago. There are reports of entire families being lost in the carnage,” he wrote.
Madagascar is an island off the coast of Africa.
“Samaritan’s Purse has worked in this country for many years. We just heard yesterday that 8 of those killed were local volunteer teachers in our Operation Christmas Child The Greatest Journey discipleship program and 12 were children who had just recently graduated from the program,” Graham wrote.
Samaritan’s Purse is a humanitarian relief organization linked to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Would you join us in praying for those who lost loved ones and for the many injured in this crash? https://t.co/05x6lu6oZL
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) August 10, 2017
“I’m thankful they knew the Savior and are now in His presence. Would you join us in praying for those who are grieving their loved ones and for the many injured?” Graham added on Facebook.
Graham closed his message with a Bible verse.
“‘For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens’ (2 Corinthians 5:1),” he wrote.
Madagascar: 34 Christian Worshippers Traveling to Church Killed in Tragic Bus Accident https://t.co/z7hKfVl3FQ
— Heaven’s Cabin (@EndTimeJournal) August 2, 2017
The accident took place Aug. 2.
“The bus struggled to climb a road on a hill and fell down a ravine about 20 meters deep,” said police spokesman Herilalatiana Andrianarisaona.
“It caught fire after rolling several times,” he said.
“It is unimaginable what happened because the (bus) was in good condition, the papers of the vehicle were in order. My wife and my children were among the passengers. The whole family is dead,” said the driver of the bus, Elias Ralaiarimanana, after the accident.