November 11, 2013
As ‘The Cross’ is aired for the fourth and final night of the North American outreach, it is clear that ‘My Hope’ efforts will continue for a long time.
Provo, Utah—During the 10 a.m. Sunday service at The Rock Church, about 80 people watched the My Hope America With Billy Graham video, and eight indicated decisions to follow Jesus. Most of those are men and women in their 20s and 30s.
“Mr. Graham is 95 years old, and he’s still relevant and reaching the next generation with the Gospel,” said Jeanne McInroy.
Jeanne’s husband, Steve, is pastor at The Rock. He praised God for how Mr. Graham has remained faithful to Christ throughout his life and remained true to the Gospel: “In just a little way here in Provo, we’re trying to imitate what Mr. Graham has been able to do and to be faithful to God and involved in His bigger movement to advance His Kingdom.”
Aurora, Ill.—The Edge Church began meeting recently in a high school auditorium. Tony Woodall, an elder and teaching pastor, heard of My Hope America with Billy Graham by word of mouth and decided to introduce it to the church staff. As the church leaders went through the Matthew training materials, they were inspired by the concept of the personal three-minute testimony.
Pastor Tony encouraged the congregation to follow suit with the staff. Many of the members wrote their testimonies, which were placed on the church blog page.
Today, several people attended The Edge Church for the first time because of the testimonies they read online. While this is not the typical implementation of the My Hope outreach, perhaps this is a unique way God will use this project uniquely across the country.
The congregation plans to continue the effort through home viewing parties over the coming weeks.
Albany, Ga.—Sherwood Baptist Church held a My Hope screening of ‘The Cross’ at a former Coca-Cola bottling plant they now own, and are renovating. The plant is located in one of the poorest areas of Albany, and in the center of a primarily unchurched community.
120 people, not including church volunteers, attended the screening. There are 33 new lives in Christ recorded, and 15 people recommitted their lives to Jesus. Perhaps God is still at work in the hearts of those who did not publicly respond, as nine people asked for prayer.
Taylor, Mich.—Joe and Erica had been praying for their friends, Shane and Millie, for years. So, when their pastor at New Hope Baptist Church announced the My Hope program, they knew, without a doubt, who they would invite to their viewing party.
Joe said, “We figured Shane and Millie would be the ones who would not show up, but they turned out to be the only couple who did come on Saturday.”
Erica noticed that Millie’s heart had been softening toward the Gospel for some time, ever since her dad died suddenly several years ago, but Shane had remained skeptical. But after hearing the Gospel presentation by Billy Graham during ‘The Cross,’ Shane, Millie and their 15-year-old daughter prayed to receive Christ.
“We are praying now that they will start attending church with us,” Erica said.
Spartanburg, S.C.—In Friday’s roundup, it was reported that First Baptist Church, Billy Graham’s home church, saw at least 74 people come to Christ through various My Hope events. The momentum continued today, as people flooded the aisles of the church to come forward for prayer, and to commit their lives to the Lord.
My Hope has even inspired the people of First Baptist to do outreach on their own. This afternoon, church member Matthew Weaver began a conversation with a woman in Barnes and Noble. By the end of the conversation, he had given her a copy of “The Cross,” in hopes that she would go home, watch it, and have her life forever changed.
Matthew, who is living up to his name, is hopeful: “You never know what God will do!”
Fort Worth, Texas—As Kelly watched “The Cross” and heard Lacey Sturm’s testimony, painful memories came flooding back to her mind. Lacey’s story reminded Kelly of her brother’s suicide. She needed someone to talk to, so she called the BGEA call center to get some answers. Volunteer Greg Litowski answered the phone.
“When she called, her voice was trembling and cracking. I told her to take her time, that we could take as long as she needed,” said Greg. “After she told me her story, I explained to her that God loves her and has a plan for her life.”
During the call, Kelly’s name was added to the Lamb’s Book of Life, as she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior.
Carrolton, Texas—First Baptist church showed “The Cross” to its congregation this morning. At least 36 people gave their lives to Christ in response to the message heard.
Via email—Kevin, a missionary in a country where Christianity is punishable by imprisonment—or even death—is praying for My Hope: “May the Father richly bless your events, and thank you for all you do.”
Robert T. Schlipp, Southwest region coordinator for My Hope America, is humbled by the prayers of believers, like Kevin, who serve in areas of persecution: “When I think of those who have sacrificed so much to share the hope of Jesus around the world, it’s awesome to think that they are praying for the same message to be widely received here in America.”
El Cajon, Ca.—Dr. David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and head of Turning Point Ministries, asked his congregation to send in reports from their many My Hope home gatherings during this morning’s service. Jeremiah personally trained around 700 Matthews, calling the “Defining Moments” video the most powerful video he’s ever seen, comparing it only to “The Passion of the Christ” movie. There’s an additional 90 Matthews in the church’s Hispanic congregation, including one host who packed 40 people in her living room/kitchen area to watch the My Hope Spanish video “Momentos Decisivos.”
Via Twitter—Travis tweeted, “Thank you for My Hope. Three of my friends got saved!”
If you haven’t seen “The Cross,” you can still view it online.