November 10, 2013
As ‘My Hope America with Billy Graham’ entered its third night, homes around the country were opened up as believers shared their faith and the ‘My Hope’ videos.
Charlotte, N.C. – They considered hosting a small My Hope gathering in their home. But Richard and Deborah Rosser aren’t given to doing things in a small way.
“Richard and I thought, “Let’s just kick it up a notch and do something bigger than that,” Deborah said.
And kick it up they did: Some 650 hand-delivered invitations. A prominent mention in a business newsletter mailed to 4,000. An open-sided, white-roofed tent on the shore of the pond across the street from their house. Enough hay bales to seat 150, with room for lawn chairs besides. An 8×8 screen and a sound system. Hot apple cider for a cold autumn night. A poster-sized birthday card that people could sign for Billy Graham. Large banners and small yard signs publicizing My Hope to the neighborhood. Even a lighted Porta Potty.
In short, the Rossers did everything they could to gather as many people as possible to watch The Cross and hear the Good News of Jesus.
Yet for all the bigness of the event, Deborah was praying that even just one soul would be saved Saturday evening, Nov. 9. “I mean, I’m hoping for a lot,” she said, “but just one would be fine.”
As cars arrived, the Rossers greeted each guest warmly. People found seats on the hay bales or set up their own chairs. Then, bundled up against fast-falling temperatures, the guests listened intently to the teaching and testimonies in the program. When the video ended, Deborah sang an invitation song, “That’s What This Altar Is For.”
A couple of dogs barked in the distance as a family friend, Pastor Gregg Newton of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Southern Pines, N.C., gave a heartfelt invitation for people to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. An older man responded quickly to rededicate his life to Christ, and an 8-year-old boy prayed to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior.
After most of the guests had gone home, the Rossers took a moment to sum up the experience:
“We feel privileged that we were able to do something like this and that people would come,” Richard said. “Billy Graham got to do it all over the world, and here we got to do one little bit of what he’s done with his whole life.”
San Diego, Calif. – Felicitas Aranda’s love for Jesus, whom she calls “precious,” and for her friends prompted her to hold a birthday party for herself Saturday night so she could use the occasion to show “Momentos Decisivos,” the Spanish version of the “Defining Moments” video to family members and friends. She invited 100 people, all Hispanic, and at least 50 showed up. It was an full-out fiesta with multiple Mexican food dishes, festive music outside and a pinata-busting event for the kids at night’s end. After about 40 people crammed into her living room and kitchen to watching the video and to heard her heartfelt, tear-drenched testimony, two responded to invitations to receive Christ, including one re-dedication. Felicitas, who is part of the Hispanic congregation at Shadow Mountain Community Church, said numerous other people told her afterward that they were stirred to consider the Lord in a much deeper way than ever before.
DesPlanes, Ill. — Eight people gathered in the Martinez home in to watch the Spanish language My Hope program ‘Momentos Decisivos’. Pastor Jonathan Pearson shared his testimony and “Steps to Peace with God.”
Charlotte, N.C. – Mark and Raina Cook watched “The Cross” with a group of family members visiting from out of town. They said the video opened doors and allowed them to have candid conversations about faith—something that they had never been able to do before. Mark’s sister is now asking questions and working on reading the Bible.
Detroit, Mich. — EmmaLee took a risk and invited neighbors to her home to watch “The Cross.” Much to her surprise and delight, her living room was full. Several people made decisions for Christ. “It was an easy and effective way to reach unbelievers with the Gospel,” EmmaLee said. “The length of the message was just right, and the presentation was excellent. A million heartfelt thanks to the BGEA.”
Freeport, N.Y. – A couple in the waterfront town of Freeport stepped out in faith and invited neighbors to come over and watch a My Hope video. One man rededicated his life to Christ, and the couple that hosted the event says it was “just the beginning” of many more opportunities to reach out to their neighbors.
Charlotte, N.C. – Members of University City United Methodist Church were encouraged by an excellent turnout at their My Hope event, where they saw many people re-commit their lives to Christ.
Via Instagram — Two-time Super Bowl champ and former Los Angeles Raiders offensive guard Mickey Marvin shared My Hope Saturday night.
Via Twitter – Cheryl tweeted, “Just finished our My Hope party & was truly blessed by the work of Billy Graham and prayers were answered tonight!”
Marion, Ohio – A volunteer at the My Hope call center in Charlotte, N.C., took a call from a 12-year-old boy named Jaden who watched The Cross on TV. “His voice was quivering. I could sense the sadness in his tone. It touched me so much,” said Judy Turner, the volunteer who took his call. “He just simply told me he was lost.” Jaden’s dad is serving a 21-year prison sentence. Judy spent a lot of time talking to Jaden, who said he wanted to accept Christ as his Savior. Judy explained that even though Jaden’s earthly father is absent, he has a heavenly Father who loves him and will never leave him. Before they got off the phone, Judy told Jaden to “remember this day” and celebrate it every year. “This is the day God has welcomed you into His family,” she said.