The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will soon release a personal video message from Graham that will be included in the new program called "The Cross" as part of the My Hope America campaign. The nationwide crusade slated to culminate in November has nearly 22,000 registered churches reaching out to their network of relationships in order to spread the Gospel.
Graham's new message, which will be available on DVD to participating churches and individuals, then broadcast on television and online in early November, is based on the same sermon themes he has preached for decades about God's love and the meaning of the cross. In addition, "The Cross" features the testimony of Christian rapper Lecrae and Lacey Sturm, the former lead singer of the band, Flyleaf.
"Woven within Graham's message are the faith stories of two popular musicians, rapper Lecrae Moore who overcame addiction and the pull of the gang lifestyle to see his life changed by an encounter with Jesus and former Flyleaf lead singer Lacey Sturm who fought depression, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts only to be rescued by the love of a Heavenly Father and the hope that comes through a relationship with His Son," Preston Parrish, vice president of My Hope America with Billy Graham, told the Christian Post.
He continued, "Both Lecrae and Lacey have a long history with our ministry, and it's been a blessing to see how God has used them to reach the next generation with the Gospel. We feel that when people see their individual stories, they'll be reminded of how there is hope no matter how far you feel you are away from God. We are all the objects of His mighty love, a love He shows us on the cross."
The purpose of the video is to show individuals that there is hope in God, regardless of their circumstance. The strategic plan for My Hope America is for participating individuals to open up their homes to people they have been praying for specifically. At these home gatherings, they will show one of the My Hope evangelistic programs and share their own personal stories of how they began their walk of faith.
In the past, other videos from the project released by the BGEA have included "Defining Moments" featuring the testimonies of illusionist Jim Munroe and NFL player David Tyree as well as "Lose to Gain" which follows the story of a comedian, a pro skateboarder, and a young professional and how they found hope in God.
Considered to be the largest evangelistic outreach effort, My Hope America also aims to reach families who fit into the "average American community," which according to the statistics on the campaign's website, includes seven out of 100 who struggle with depression and eight out of 100 who are dealing with loss of employment, among other figures.
"From the outset, this has been a movement of prayer. We are thrilled at how God is answering prayer and stirring the hearts of people across the nation. He's stirring them to become intentional and purposeful about reaching out to others with the love and good news of Jesus Christ," Parrish said."Billy Graham recently wrote in a letter that 'We can and should pray for America as a whole, but remember that when God sets out to change a nation, He begins by changing people. It starts with individuals.'"