How to Heal a Nation

by | Jul 19, 2011 | Charisma Archive

Billy Graham
Photo by Russ Busby

Every time I hear a report on how God is using the My Hope outreach in countries around the world, it thrills my heart. As this letter is being mailed, a wonderful effort is under way to take the gospel across Haiti.

Believers
in Haiti are praying for loved ones or friends who need to hear the gospel, then inviting them into their homes to see or hear evangelistic
broadcasts prepared by BGEA specifically for that culture. Two of the
programs in Haiti include gospel messages from me that were recorded
earlier, and another has a message from Franklin on the Prodigal Son.

The
programs are presented using TV, DVD and radio, as well as a new kind
of battery-powered video mini-projector for places without electricity.
After a broadcast, hosts give their personal testimony and invite guests
to “turn to God in repentance and … faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts
20:21, NIV).

Our team in Haiti tells me that more than 5,300
churches and tens of thousands of Christians are taking part. One of
them, a man who had been praying for specific friends and neighbors,
began witnessing before the broadcasts began and has already led seven
people on his list to Christ.

Haiti is, in many ways, a land in desperation. Pray that the hope and power of the gospel will change that nation.

Up Next: Portugal
Years
ago, I was invited to hold a crusade in Lisbon, Portugal, but due to
political unrest at the time, those plans had to be canceled. Another
opportunity for me to preach in Portugal never came—until now, through
our My Hope television outreach.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and many churches in Portugal are well along in preparations for a nationwide My Hope outreach that will culminate in early December.

My Hope
has been to 53 countries, and local churches from those countries have
recorded millions of decisions for Christ as a result, but this will be
the first time in Europe. I have received reports of a great sense of
expectation and faith among Portuguese pastors for what God will do in
their country.

Summer: A Time for Family
Our
family recently marked the fourth anniversary of my wife Ruth’s death.
Not a day goes by that I do not think about her. Ruth would be honored
and pleased by a special exhibit this summer at the Billy Graham Library
in Charlotte, N.C., focusing on her deep interest in young people,
missionaries, prisoners and people struggling with personal hurt. I am
reminded of a little poem she wrote as a teenager—her heart never
changed.

Summer is a time when many of my grandchildren and
great-grandchildren are on vacation and come by more often to see me.
Their visits are especially appreciated this year after a bout with
pneumonia caused me to be hospitalized for several days and left me
weakened. I’m doing much better now and am working to rebuild strength
and stamina.

For some time I have been working on a book on the challenges and joys of growing older, from a Christian perspective. Nearing Home
will be released in the fall, and it is my hope that the book will be
an encouragement both to people entering retirement and people who—like
me—are well into their later years.

Unbroken
My
friend Louis Zamperini, an Olympic champion and WWII hero, came to see
me recently. I’ve known him for 60 years, and we had a wonderful time
together. The next day he traveled to the library where he autographed copies of Unbroken, a book about his amazing life story.

The book, which reached No. 1 not long ago on the New York Times best-seller list, includes a vivid account of how his life was instantly transformed
by the power of the gospel during our 1949 crusade in Los Angeles. Men
like Louis are a moving reminder of why we do what we do in this
ministry—tell people everywhere how Jesus Christ can change their lives.

Prayer for the Ministry
Franklin is leading evangelistic events in Denver and Milwaukee
in August. Pray for him and also for Christians who are inviting
friends and neighbors to hear the gospel. I preached at crusades in both
cities in years past and am asking God to move in a great way this
summer.

When you pray, remember our nation’s leaders. America is
facing many crises, and the responsibilities of national leadership can
be overwhelming. The Bible says it is pleasing to God “that petitions,
prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings
and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives”
(1 Timothy 2:1–2).

Used with permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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