By April Calnin
In Latin America, Matthews were very comfortable with inviting friends and neighbors into their homes for the broadcast; sharing a meal together in a home was already a habit. However, in Portugal and Spain adjustments had to be made to accommodate a culture that is more individualistic. Read an article about this adaptation (will open on billygraham.org website).
In Haiti and Africa, a small minority of the population have electricity and even less own televisions. Radio programs and handheld projectors were used to accommodate this challenge. As many as 60% of the Matthews who participated in My Hope project in Malawi listened to radio programs instead of watching the broadcasts on television. Read about the strategy used in Haiti here (will open on billygraham.org website).
In India, language was a huge barrier. There are over 400 spoken languages in the country. The My Hope India broadcasts had to be shown in 14 of the most widely spoken languages to reach as many as possible. The programs were transmitted to all 28 states of the country through over 170 television channels, and when combined with DVD distribution, resulted in more than 5.3 million decisions for Christ.
While My Hope has been adapted for each different culture and region of the world it has been executed in, the concept has never changed. The simple strategy has proven effective in 57 countries on five different continents. In each country there were pastors and church congregations who prayed fervently. Matthews built relationships with those around them and invited friends and family to watch, or listen to, the My Hope broadcast. Matthews bravely shared their personal testimony, and God’s redeeming love brought souls to Him.
The United States and Canada are by far the most extensive, and frankly, the most daunting of all the countries in which My Hope has been implemented around the world. It is staggering to think of the number of churches, volunteers and Matthews needed for My Hope with Billy Graham in North America. However, it is not about our staff, the volunteers, the churches or the numbers.
John 17:1-3 says, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’”
This project is not the work of men. It is the work of the Father drawing His people to Himself. Based on reports from churches around the world, since 2002, over ten million people have made the decision to follow Christ or to rededicate their lives to Him through the My Hope project. Ten million people of different ethnicities, cultures, languages and nationalities would not have responded if all they heard during the broadcast and the Matthew’s testimony were humans talking. Those people responded because they heard God’s voice calling them to follow Him. It is His work.
We’re excited to see how God is going to do His work here, just as He has done all over the world.
To read more detail about the history of the My Hope project in all of these countries, visit the My Hope History page on our main website and check out our timeline on our My Hope with Billy Graham website.