The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association recently launched "Lose to Gain," its second half-hour video program installment of the My Hope America with Billy Graham campaign series. With less than five months remaining in the campaign, nearly 14,000 churches have registered in the project that culminates in an evangelistic video featuring portions of Billy Graham's preaching, intertwined with true stories of people who decided to follow Christ.
The latest installment available for online viewing at billygraham.tv features pro-skateboarder Brian Sumner, comedian Michael Jr., and young professional Shannon Culpepper telling their story.
"Each wanted something different – success; laughs; love. Each was living a life that met their dreams, but then it all fell apart," stated BGEA .
"We go on in our pleasures thinking they're going to last forever," says Billy Graham in a classic message included in the program. "The whole country is on a quest for something. We want something. We don't know quite what it is. It's elusive. All of a sudden you're faced with it, just for an instant. It's just a moment in which it seems that it's not all put together. Then you forget about it and you go on, but it's there and it will grow through the years."
The first program released earlier this year, "Defining Moments," followed the redemption stories of three individuals – illusionist Jim Munroe, NFL player David Tyree and musical artist Lacey Sturm – as told by them. Each found success in their careers, yet were still searching for hope while facing struggles.
In the latest video, professional skateboarder Brian Sumner was living the American dream. Raised in Liverpool, England, he came to the U.S., and at 19-years-old, he joined the Tony Hawk Skate-park Tour. Making money, having endorsements and kids across the country imitating him – wanting to be him – was just the beginning. "I gained everything, but I had no clue about anything," says Sumner. "I started thinking, 'Does any of this matter?'"
Michael Jr. had success in the Midwest as a comedian and decided to try his luck in New York City. He was invited to perform with legendary comedians George Wallace and Jerry Seinfeld. "I was making people laugh," he says. "It gave me a false sense of me being okay. I was just as lost as the person using drugs every day." He committed to reading the Bible and recalls the point in the book of Matthew where Jesus died on the cross. "I didn't know where I would be the next day, but I knew what I was going to be aiming for; whatever Jesus wanted me to do."
Growing up without a consistent father figure in her life, Shannon Culpepper looked for attention from guys. She met a successful man to whom she became engaged. "I thought I found the love I was always looking for. Because I never had that, I just settled – for a lot less." Quickly, their relationship turned from bad to worse. Culpepper began reading a book on Christianity and realized that Jesus was real. "He was everything that I wanted. Except that it was eternal; and it was lasting; and it was real."
The My Hope America with Billy Graham movement encourages participants to open their doors and lives to people they already know, engaging in meaningful conversation and connections as a catalyst for sharing the hope and love found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
"We need you to be a part of this program – My Hope with Billy Graham," said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of BGEA. "We need you to open up your home. We need you to invite your family and your friends to get involved. Let's tell them about Jesus."
The major nationwide evangelism initiative by BGEA, My Hope America with Billy Graham, will take place in November.
On the Web: www.billygraham.tv.