The first thing you may notice about Casey Kalaso is his snappy clothes.
His suit coats are sharp. His shoes are shined. And his shirts neatly pressed.
But after spending just a few moments talking with the pastor of Christian Discipleship Church in Kabwe — the capital of Zambia’s Central Province — you quickly get past the threads he’s wearing and catch a glimpse into his heart.
“Casey’s got a call on his life. He’s got a heart to see others come to Christ and to get them discipled,” said Mpundu Mutala, the My Hope Zambia national coordinator. “He’s a church planter. A very good guy. And he’s a very focused guy, whose heart is after the heart of God.”
The soft-spoken Kalaso is articulate and passionate when he speaks, but humble in the words he chooses.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of this great ministry,” said Kalaso, pausing briefly, “to bring souls into the Kingdom of God.”
For Kalso to be chosen as one of four My Hope regional coordinators for this nationwide evangelism outreach nearly leaves him speechless. “It’s an honor,” he said.
Kalaso’s roots with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association go back decades.
In 1999, while living in the United States, he was involved in the St. Louis Crusade. And a decade earlier, still in his late 20′s, Kalaso took part in the 1989 London live-link satellite broadcast to Africa, where he opened his home in Zambia to hear Billy Graham preach.
“I know this ministry is full of integrity,” he said. “I appreciate what Billy Graham has done over the years. To be chosen as a nation (for My Hope) is a privilege.”
The 1989 live-link was a small sampling of what Kalaso and the rest of Zambia is about to experience this weekend.
“My Hope is a much, much bigger program,” said Mutala, the Zambia national coordinator. “Whatever the preparation he’s gotten over the years has helped him to where he is now.”
And on Dec. 1, 2 and 3, he will be experiencing My Hope with the rest of Zambia. A 30-minute evangelistic program featuring music, testimony and a Billy Graham or Franklin Graham message, will air nationwide on two different channels (ZNBC, MUVI-TV) and two radio stations (ZNBC, Radio Christian Voice) at two different times (6:25 p.m., 7:30 p.m.).
Each night, the program will culminate with the host Matthew turning off the TV or radio, giving a brief personal testimony and then inviting others to receive Christ as their Savior.
More than 60,000 Matthews have been trained through the 5,400-plus involved Zambia churches, including 1,600 from Kalaso’s region.
“He’s a very popular speaker and very well connected with other churches,” Mutala said. “And he’s concentrated his energies on My Hope and has made it a priority.”
Kalaso will be the first to tell you it hasn’t been easy. “It’s required a lot of commitment, a lot of work,” he said. “I’m excited just being a part of what God is doing in our generation.”
And according to Mutala, it has been many key, plugged-in Christian leaders like Kalaso who have helped turn this My Hope vision into a nationwide reality throughout Zambia.
“They have made it possible,” Mutala said. “for My Hope to become a household name.”