It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since my grandfather Billy Graham completed his journey and entered the presence of Jesus. After a lifetime of proclaiming the hope of the Saviour, God called him home. He looked forward to Heaven. It wasn’t just a “someday” or “I hope” type of longing, but an absolute surety that was just on the other side of the horizon.
As we enter the Easter season, we once again focus on the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, His victory over death and the grave. It was that pivotal event—the most important moment in the history of mankind—that allowed my grandfather to hold such great hope for eternity.
Indeed, Christ’s victory over the grave offers hope to all who would hear it and respond, and your support and prayers have allowed us to proclaim it around the world. Thanks to your generosity and faithfulness, thousands have received the Good News of Jesus Christ over the past year—in spite of the worldwide uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis. Because of you, many will be looking at the Easter story through a completely different lens this year, their eternity secured in a newfound Saviour.
In February I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel in Tifton, Georgia, which was my first evangelistic gathering since the pandemic shuttered our plans in 2020. The outreach looked very different—some people sat socially-distanced inside a large sanctuary, while thousands more watched online. But it was an incredible blessing to once again gather for the purpose of evangelism.
Four siblings—ranging in age from 12 to 17—came forward together. They had been invited to church by youth leaders after the tragic death of their 15-year-old neighbour. One of the teens, 13-year-old Anna-Grace,* had actually just surrendered her life to Christ earlier in the week, and now her brother and sisters were following her to the foot of the cross. They came down at the very end of the altar call, just like my grandfather did when he gave his life to Christ as a teenager. I’m excited to see what God has in store for this young family!
Later this year I plan to preach the Gospel in Fairmont, West Virginia, as well as Sudbury and London, Ontario—all of which were postponed from 2020. We’ve also announced multi-day Celebrations in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Des Moines, Iowa, for this autumn. My father is preparing to preach the Word of God in Festivals later this year in Argentina, Korea, Russia, Italy, and Brazil.
This pandemic has brought many difficulties and challenges, but we are taking every opportunity to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. These evangelistic outreaches are only one portion of what God is doing through the ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), and again, your faithful prayers and support have made all this possible.
You may have seen that my sister, Cissie, shared a prayer during the recent March for Life, the annual pro-life event, which was held virtually this year. Cissie prayed for parents considering abortion, current policymakers, and unity in the church on this life-or-death issue.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) of crisis-trained chaplains has been exceedingly busy as well, carrying the light and presence of Christ into areas impacted by tragedy. In addition to several recent natural disasters, chaplains have worked alongside our sister ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, to help meet the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families at coronavirus Emergency Field Hospitals in California and North Carolina.
At the same time, we are increasing our commitment to minister to law enforcement officers across the country through special deployments and appreciation dinners and retreats. These men and women lay it all on the line to protect and serve, but they are too often attacked, ridiculed, and marginalised. We want to show the love of Jesus to those who sacrifice so much for us.
Already in 2021, our prayer line has received more than 72,000 calls, and hundreds have prayed with a trained volunteer to begin a relationship with Jesus. In the midst of a worldwide disaster, the hopeless are finding hope and the distressed are finding peace!
If you (or someone you know) need prayer, please request a call back by going to billygraham.org.uk/prayer. We would love to uplift and encourage you.
My friends, we must remember that “the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10, NIV).
The past year has been a struggle for many, but God has continued to bless your sacrifice and used you to make an eternal impact. The same hope that my grandfather preached (and held fast to) is now shared with thousands more. I will never be able to say thank you enough for all you have poured into this ministry.
God bless you,
Reminding Ministry Volunteers of the God of All Comfort
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, God’s work cannot and will not be locked down. And at the busy UK Operation Christmas Child processing centres in Tonbridge, Wigan, and Oldbury, volunteers sorting the gifts weren’t the only ones doing the ministering. For two months, chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) had a ministry of their own there.
Teams of chaplains comforted and prayed with the men and women who were preparing shoeboxes meant for needy children across the globe. Beneath the surface, many of the volunteers were dealing with their own needs and burdens during the pandemic, and they shared heart-breaking stories of bereavement, financial crisis, or relational hardships. “Listening, acknowledging the challenges, and offering prayer does make a significant difference,” said Nigel Fawcett-Jones, UK BG-RRT Manager. “Sometimes all of us need to be reminded that we have the ‘God of all comfort’ with us in every challenge of life”.
Please pray for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains—and for those they reach in Jesus’ Name, whether in the UK or abroad. Ask God to use them to bind up broken lives with the hope and peace that Christ alone can bring.
STORIES FROM OUR PRAYER LINE
Incredibly Dark: Stephen* called our prayer line in tears, sharing about his drug and sex addiction that had lasted for years. He saw Franklin inviting people to repent of their sins and invite Jesus Christ into their lives. The last year has been incredibly dark for him, but when he heard the Gospel, he prayed to turn his life over to the Lord. Our representative answered several questions Stephen had about salvation, pointing him to the Bible and encouraging him to begin reading the gospel of John. They rejoiced over the phone that Stephen now has new life!
Angels are Rejoicing: “I am not sure I am saved, and I want to know the Jesus Franklin Graham talked about!” exclaimed Tom,* a 62-year-old man. Our representative shared the Good News with him and answered his questions. Tom prayed to surrender his life to Christ over the phone. When the representative told him that the angels in Heaven are now rejoicing over his decision, Tom began to cry. We thank God for another changed soul.
*names and photo changed for privacy
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
God works through people like you to change the world by the power of the Gospel.
HELP IN A VARIETY OF WAYS The Gospel changes lives—now and for eternity. When you designate a gift for Where Most Needed, it is available for immediate ministry opportunities and needs, including the personnel, resources, materials, equipment, and support services vital to carrying out our work of sharing the Gospel around the world.
SHARE THE HOPE AND HEALING OF JESUS CHRISTYour contribution in support of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team helps make it possible for crisis-trained chaplains to bring comfort in Christ’s Name to hurting communities and broken lives.
PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS THROUGH FESTIVALS AND CELEBRATIONSThough people search for truth everywhere, life changing truth is found only in Jesus Christ. When you give a gift for Festivals and Celebrations, you help give people in places around the world the opportunity to hear the Gospel message of God’s eternal love—even now through live stream outreaches.