Fear is gripping many hearts in this global pandemic, and people don’t know where to turn for hope. The Gospel we proclaim is the only message that can bring peace in the midst of any storm in life.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … [Nothing] in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 39, ESV).
With so many hearts open and searching for answers, the opportunities to share this Good News are everywhere. In a quarantined world, we are adapting and finding creative new ways to reach out, and your prayers and gifts are making a big impact around the globe right now.
The Gospel can bring peace in the midst of any storm
I recently completed a special Easter broadcast with my friend Michael W. Smith. I presented the Gospel and gave an invitation, asking people to receive Jesus Christ into their lives. Millions of people around the world usually attend a church service on Easter weekend, but this year most churches globally did not meet in their buildings as they typically do. What an incredible opportunity to present the Good News to a world that desperately needs God! Hundreds of thousands watched, and many called in to pray with our team members and make a decision for Christ.
Easter Sunday has come and gone, but the reality of Christ’s resurrection from the dead never fades. Our Lord said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25–26, NASB).
Our 60-second TV ad was translated into Italian, and beginning on Good Friday, it aired on one of the top secular stations in Italy with a potential audience of 40 million people. This was the first time a presentation of the Gospel ever ran on a secular station there, and we praise God for those people who called our Italian prayer line.
Social distancing is becoming the new normal. Before, people often found connection by being around people in groups; now millions of people are going online to communicate and look for answers. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association created special webpages in six languages to offer spiritual comfort and hope in light of the pandemic. To date, over 173,000 people have visited these sites, and more than 10,000 people have indicated making decisions for Jesus Christ. Please pray for God to continue reaching many more lives through this outreach.
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) chaplains are actively ministering around the world during this pandemic. We are encouraging our chaplains both in the UK and US to wear their signature blue shirts for ministry opportunities to serve their neighbours—in compliance with guidelines and safety protocols. Although this is a new kind of crisis for the ministry, many chaplains have shared experiences of comforting and praying for people in public places.
Chaplains are on the ground in Cremona, Italy, and New York City serving at Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospitals. Italy is the epicentre of this crisis, and New York is currently the hardest hit area of the US. Please pray for them as they minister to patients, first responders, medical personnel and family members.
A physician assistant who worked in the Cremona field hospital’s ICU told our chaplains of her desire to have Bibles in every ward. Chaplains connected with a local pastor who brought three cases of Italian New Testaments for each patient to receive.
One chaplain in Italy began speaking with Antonio*, a recovering patient. When Antonio asked if he was afraid to be around so many sick people, the chaplain took the opportunity to share the source of his hope — the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He carefully explained the plan of salvation and explained to the patient that he was loved by God. Antonio indicated he wanted to place his faith in the Lord, and he prayed to receive Jesus Christ into his life. The chaplain gave him an Italian New Testament and will help Antonio connect with a local Bible-believing church upon his release from the hospital.
People are experiencing many changes due to COVID-19, and the world will likely be different after this virus passes. But for the believer, our confidence does not rest in the passing things of this world. We place our faith in the unchanging nature of God. Like the prophet Jeremiah, we can say, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22–23, ESV).
Thank you for your prayers and gifts during these crucial days that share the hope of Jesus Christ with people around the world.
May God richly bless you.
Franklin Graham | President
WANT PRAYER OR SOMEONE TO TALK TO?
Whatever fears or anxieties you may be facing in this time of uncertainty, you’re not alone. If you would like to share your prayer requests, or just talk with a chaplain, you can go online and submit a call-back request HERE. Feel free to share this with anyone you know who might want prayer or need to talk.
Share God’s hope in the COVID-19 crisis:
GRAHAM TOUR UK POSTPONED AS BGEA SEEKS RESOLUTION WITH VENUES
During this time of uncertainty, people need a message of hope, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association remains committed to sharing the Gospel with people across the UK.
“The Lord has placed a burden on my heart to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ across the UK, and that sense of purpose and evangelistic passion continues to grow,” said Franklin Graham. “We are dedicated to pursuing a legal resolution with the venues that were scheduled to host the Tour. They broke their legally-binding contracts with us because we preach a message of God’s love, stand uncompromisingly on traditional Biblical beliefs about human sexuality and share with all people that Jesus Christ is the only way they can be forgiven of sin and have a right relationship with God. Since the legal process takes time, we have prayerfully decided to postpone the Tour until the issues are resolved and the venues become available again.”
In the meantime, as many of our neighbours are living in fear and experiencing an increasing sense of anxiety and hopelessness due to the coronavirus, let’s remain focused on helping people in need and sharing the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. Thank you for everything you are doing to support the Graham Tour. Please check our website for updates about the postponement.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
God works through people like you to change the world by the power of the Gospel.
Pray for the nation: Your prayers are powerful. Please pray for healing for those who are suffering, strength for medical personnel and first responders and wisdom for our leaders.
Share the hope and healing of Jesus Christ: Your contribution in support of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team helps bring comfort in Christ’s Name to hurting communities and broken lives battling the coronavirus and other crisis.
Leave a lasting legacy: Your will can help others find new life in Christ for generations to come. Take advantage of BGEA’s partnership with the Free Wills Network today. To learn more, call us on 020 8559 0342 or request a legacy pack using the response slip.