121,000 Haitians Get Saved in 'My Hope' Outreach
Charisma: In the wake of death and disease, born-again life is springing up in Haiti. Christians across Haiti opened their homes for meetings and witnessed a combined total of more than 121,000 participants make commitments to Jesus Christ this summer.
The gatherings were a part of My Hope, a ministry of the Charlotte, N.C.-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The project, the largest evangelism of its kind in Haiti, comes after significant ministry outreach by BGEA and Samaritan's Purse following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country.
Organizers originally met with leaders in Haiti in 2009, but planning for the My Hope project was postponed when the country was rocked by a magnitude-7 earthquake in January 2010. After a period of recovery, meetings and trainings for church leaders and volunteers took place over several months. Overall, more than 5,000 churches participated in the project.
"These faithful Christians took a bold step in inviting their friends and neighbors to their homes, and God truly worked through their efforts and prayers," says Bill Conard, vice president of international ministries for BGEA. "Projects like this show that evangelism is not only for pastors, but for anyone who longs for those around them to experience the hope and love found only in Jesus Christ."
The programs culminated with more than 57,000 home events including messages from famous Christian Haitians, and sermons from Billy Graham the first night and Franklin Graham the following two nights. Broadcasts were transmitted simultaneously by major television and radio stations throughout the country. In rural areas and remote regions of the country—where broadcast signals get blocked by massive mountains—50 projector teams continued to show the program after the initial national broadcast.
"Collecting results from all churches often takes weeks, and we just recently received the final numbers from Haiti," says Conard. "During that time follow-up efforts were made to help new believers become involved in a local church body and thereby grow in their faith.
"We've been so encouraged by the stories we've heard," he continues. "Many of those who viewed the My Hopebroadcast had been practicing Voodoo for many years. One man—a voodoo priest—not only made a decision to renounce his old life and become a Christian, but eight members of his family also accepted Christ."
Since My Hope began in 2002, such projects have been implemented in more than 50 countries. Upcoming projects this year will take place in Zambia, Spain and Portugal. Preparations are beginning for potential My Hope outreaches in 2012.