Hundreds of Thousands of Brazilian Christians reached out to friends and neighbors during "My Hope World Evangelism Through Television" project, November 6-8, according to a late report from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
While Billy Graham has been slowed by fragile health, the outreach of the ministry he founded and that bears his name continues to be increasingly more productive. He has been faithful to his calling for more than 70 years. God has blessed him and he ascribes all honor, praise and glory to his Lord, Jesus Christ. In answer to Dr. Graham's prayers and desires the ministry reaches more people than ever.
Last Thursday, millions of Brazilians across the country gathered around a television set during prime time to watch one of the world's greatest athletes - but they were not seeing a sporting event. The Brazilian soccer superstar Kaká shared his testimony of hope and faith in Jesus Christ during the first night of one of the largest Christian evangelistic efforts ever, Minha Esperança - or My Hope Brazil, a ministry of the BGEA.
My Hope Brazil was an effort driven by local Christians to reach their community with the message of God's love through television programming and their own testimonies. Those involved in the outreach, called "Matthews," recalling the disciple who invited friends to his home to meet Jesus , invited neighbors, relatives and friends to their homes to watch the programs and hear the message of hope. After viewing the program, the "Matthews" shared their personal testimonies and then invited those present to accept or rededicate their lives to Jesus.
The scale of the outreach during the three-day period was massive: more than 48,000 churches and more than 850,000 homes across South America's largest country were trained to participate in the program.
"My Hope Brazil was one of the most exciting projects BGEA has had the privilege of facilitating," said Bill Conard, vice president of international ministries at BGEA. "The churches in Brazil have put an enormous amount of time and energy into reaching their loved ones with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we expect God to do powerful things through their faithful efforts."
The first night of programming, Thursday, November 6, included Kaká's testimony, along with a message from Billy Graham dubbed into Portuguese and music from Brazilian singer Aline Barros. The second night, Friday, November 7, featured a message from Franklin Graham, president and CEO of BGEA, as well as other testimonies and music from singer Paulo Baruk. The BGEA evangelistic film "A Vow to Cherish," transmitted without commercial breaks, closed the programming on Saturday, November 8.
The programs aired nationally on the Bandeirantes Television Network. DVDs of the programs have been distributed to Matthews in areas that are not reached by the Bandeirantes TV network.
BGEA's next My Hope project will take place in Singapore, December 12-14, 2008.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association proclaims the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available. From its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., BGEA runs a wide range of domestic and international evangelism ministries, including: large-scale festivals led by evangelist Franklin Graham; Dare to Be a Daniel, a youth evangelism training project; My Hope World Evangelism Through Television; the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, offering the hope of Jesus Christ in the midst of tragedy; and many others through print, television, telephone, radio and the Internet.
On the second day, November 7, of this massive evangelistic outreach in Brazil, Billy Graham was observing his 90th birthday with 160 members of his family and a few close associates and friends in beautiful North Carolina.