Home November 2013 Billy Graham My Hope America campaign enlists hundreds of Northwest churches

Billy Graham My Hope America campaign enlists hundreds of Northwest churches


Hundreds of churches in the Northwest are joining more than 25,000 nationwide to take part this month in what will likely be the last big campaign of famed evangelist Billy Graham’s life.
My Hope America with Billy Graham is a nationwide effort to reach people across the United States with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Following a simple biblical model, My Hope combines the impact of video programs with the power of personal relationships. Christians across America will open their homes this month to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors using one of several new evangelistic programs featuring life-changing testimonies and messages from Graham.
The campaign nationally is timed to coincide with Graham’s 95th birthday on Nov. 7.
The concept is simple. Participating individuals invite friends and neighbors who don’t know Christ as Savior to their homes — nicknamed “Matthew Homes” because of the example of the Apostle Matthew — for a meal or dessert, or gather them at a church or favorite hangout. They use a scheduled TV broadcast on Nov. 7, or a DVD, laptop or mobile device to show one of the evangelistic programs. They then briefly share how Jesus gave them hope and tell what He is doing in their lives today, and then ask their friends if they would like to make the same decision to follow Christ and pray with them.
Ken Ramey, a Yamhill County resident who has worked with the Graham team for four years, has served since March as a regional coordinator for the campaign, covering the territory in southwest Washington south of Olympia and in all of Oregon. He said about 500 churches in Oregon are taking part, and scores more in southwest Washington.
If there had been more time available to promote the campaign, those numbers could have even been much larger, said Ramey. “We’re just scratching the surface,” he said. “(Only) one in every 12 churches nationally knows about it.”
The Graham team has sponsored My Hope campaigns throughout the world since 2002, with many millions reached with the Gospel. More than 30 nations in Latin America, Asia and Europe have been targeted. So successful have been such efforts, according to Ramey, that many on Graham’s team pleaded with him to try a My Hope campaign in the United States. But Graham felt the timing wasn’t right until now.
“Two years ago, Franklin (Graham’s evangelist son) and Billy said, ‘America is ready!’ ” said Ramey. “The goal was 25,000 churches and 300,000 Matthew homes.” Those numbers have already been reached.
Although the TV broadcasts for the campaign are taking place at or around Nov. 7 and most of the activity will therefore be on that date, the availability of the programs in other formats means that church involvement is not limited to this month, said Ramey.
“Churches can do this anytime they want,” he said.
Regionally, the TV broadcasts will be aired on Portland’s KPTV Channel 12 at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 on Seattle’s KING-TV Channel 5, and at various times between Nov. 7 through 10 on Trinity Broadcasting, Daystar and more than two dozen other cable and satellite networks. For details, go to watchbillygraham.com. For general information on the campaign, go to myhopewithbillygraham.org.
Ramey said the whole project “has really excited me. If we think about every lost person in America, it is most likely that each one still has a follower of Christ within their sphere of influence. It’s up to Jesus to bring in the harvest, but it’s up to us to sow the seed.”