— In 2002, My Hope began as a ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to take the Gospel into areas of the world where Billy Graham could not physically travel. Ten years and 57 countries later, My Hope America with Billy Graham has now become a movement spreading across the United States, where Christians are being equipped to effectively share their faith with family and friends. The effort comes at a critical time. According to a recent Pew Forum survey, one in five people in the United States report having no religious affiliation, an increase of more than five percent in the past five years.
Locally, My Hope is partnering with many churches that are part of the Lighthouses of the Valley Movement.
“We started working with the staff from The Billy Graham Association in late 2012 to bring My Hope to the Coachella Valley. Since we have about 75 churches that are working together to reach out to our community through prayer, care and sharing the Good News, this initiative seemed like a perfect fit for us,” said Dr. Paul Cedar, chairman of Mission America and the local LO V Movement.
“My Hope has been used in many countries and hundreds of thousands of people have received Christ as Savior,” said Billy Graham. “I think it is going to be a tremendous time of evangelism. I think that the Lord is going to use it mightily. I’ve been praying that we might have a spiritual awakening. But I think that becomes possible as individuals surrender their lives fresh and anew to Christ. And that’s the hope that we have.”
My Hope America with Billy Graham encourages participants to reach out to people they already know and engage in meaningful conversation and connections as a catalyst for sharing the hope and love found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. While one-on-one conversations will be the root of this relationship evangelism outreach, there will be a special evangelistic program available in a wide range of formats including TV, DVD and Internet that people can share to reinforce the message. Available in November, the month Billy Graham celebrates his 95th birthday, the program will feature music, stories and Billy Graham’s presentation of the Gospel.
Hundreds of My Hope America with Billy Graham information sessions are being held at locations from coast-tocoast. The sessions are presented by representatives of the project who share Billy Graham’s vision for My Hope, with training materials from time-tested resources used in Billy Graham Crusades for more than 60 years.
In the Coachella Valley, the first of several training sessions was recently hosted for pastors and leaders desiring to participate with My Hope. There will be future sessions over the next several months for leaders and individuals who want to get involved. For those not able to attend a meeting in person, the training is also available online.
For more information on My Hope America with Billy Graham, including preparationmeeting dates, news articles and evangelism resources, visit their website at http://myhopewithbillygraham.org.
For more information about local involvement and future training dates contact Pastor Pablo Cachon of Church 212 at (760) 275-3926 or Pastor Doug Garrard of Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church at (760) 219-4054.