Mario Toneguzzi • Calgary Herald • November 24, 2014
Billy Graham has been instrumental in leading millions of people to a faith in Jesus Christ over the past six decades.
Now, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is looking for people to share their stories of conversion as a way to encourage others.
The association says at least 19 million around the world have responded to the invitation to commit their lives to Christ through the ministry and many of them live in Canada.
Tell Us Your Story is a new Internet-based initiative by BGEA of Canada that invites everyone in Canada who has committed his or her life to Christ through a BGEA event, radio broadcast, TV program, or other ministry to contact the association through a new website: BillyGraham.ca/yourstory.
“It invites people who have been impacted either personally or their family life through the ministry of Billy Graham over the years to share their story,” says Fred Weiss, executive director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada. “One of the things we train in, in our Christian life and witness training and encouraging people in their personal evangelism, a key part of that is to share your story in coming to faith in Christ.
“Here we have an opportunity to just invite people to share their story. Just a reminder of the significance of the commitment and the change in their life that Christ has brought but also to encourage others. One of our desires is to take and if people who submit and tell us their stories, we’d like to post some of them on our website to share them with others and encourage other people.”
Weiss says people who have discovered faith in Christ are initially so excited to share their stories. But after a time they might stop doing that. The initiative is to have these people telling their stories again.
“It’s a great news story about what Jesus has done for each one personally,” he says.
Weiss says Billy Graham has been doing Christian ministry since 1950. Since that time, millions of people have become Christians.
The stories could be shared on the website or through BGEA’s monthly Decision magazine.
The website is being publicized through social media and online advertising. It also has free downloadable resources that biblically explain to Canadians the value of sharing their faith stories, and helps them to do so with colleagues, family members, friends and neighbours, says the association.
One of those stories is of Matt Baker – a self-described “punk kid who did drugs. He attended the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade in downtown Toronto, learned of God’s love and offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and came away a Christian, says the association. Now he is a youth pastor who helps other young people come to faith in Christ. He also oversees a local food bank.
“Testimonies like Matt’s can encourage all of us, and inspire us to share our stories of coming to faith in Jesus,” says Weiss. “BGEA is about proclaiming the Good News that Jesus brings us, so we want as many Canadians as possible to tell us how God has been using our organization to change lives.”