"Jesse Helms was a great American. He was a friend, not only to Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, but a personal friend to me. As a life-long resident of North Carolina, I was proud to call him my senator for 30 years. He was greatly loved and will be deeply missed.
"I remember his courageous speech at the first Christian summit on HIV/AIDS, Prescription for Hope, held by Samaritan's Purse in Washington, D.C., in 2002. Sen. Helms said he was sorry for opposing federal funding and for not doing enough for those suffering. Soon after, he used his remaining time in office to push for the largest funding for HIV/AIDS in our government's history. He was a man of compassion, sincere moral conviction and a strong Christian.
"Although I am currently thousands of miles away in Romania, my heart and prayers are with the Helms family and their loss of a great husband, father and grandfather."