Prayer Letter: Building Bridges of Trust in the Far East

By   •   November 19, 2009   •   Topics: , , ,

The Apostle Paul told the Colossian church about “the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness–the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages … but is now disclosed to the saints” (Colossians 1:25–26, NIV).

I, too, feel that God has given me a commission to take the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of earth. Just a few weeks ago, when I stepped off a plane in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, I remembered what my father had said during one of his visits 17 years ago. “I do not come as an emissary of my government or my nation, but as a citizen of the kingdom of God. As Christ’s ambassador, I have come … to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

My father’s visit was historic and blazed a spiritual trail that today enables us to continue to work in this difficult part of the world. I came at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry and was accompanied by Greta Van Susteren of FOX News. My meetings included the foreign minister, vice foreign minister, the ambassador general, as well as the Swedish ambassador, who represents the interests of the United States in North Korea since we do not have an embassy.

We talked about how the United States and North Korea could have better relations. I also asked permission to build a church for the diplomatic community that represents dozens of foreign countries.

Let’s pray for the people of North Korea. It is a part of the world that is especially close to my heart because my mother, Ruth Bell Graham, attended high school in Pyongyang in the 1930s. There may not be many “people of prayer” today, but there is a remnant, and we all know what the power of prayer can do. Pray as well that God will give our president and those serving in Washington the wisdom needed in this important relationship.

Preaching in China
From Korea, I traveled to China. My mother was born and raised in China as the daughter of a missionary doctor. She would have been thrilled to know of the opportunity I had to preach the Gospel to an overflow crowd jammed inside the second largest church in China. We saw the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of the people as hundreds stood or raised their hands to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord when I gave the invitation.

While there, I helped dedicate a new regional evangelism training center that BGEA helped complete. Pray with us that over the next 10 to 15 years, hundreds and eventually thousands of men and women trained in that center will proclaim the Gospel message throughout China and Asia.

In China I met one prominent party official who had been an engineer in charge of a gas turbine factory. He said he had never met an evangelist. After asking him if it would be okay to explain what an evangelist believes, I shared the Gospel and talked about the existence of God. I told him that some secular scientists believed the earth began with a big bang. I asked him, “Do you believe that there could have been an explosion in your plant and suddenly completely assembled turbines appeared? Don’t there have to be designers, engineers, and skilled craftsmen to put it all together?”

I then shared that the Creator and Designer of the universe is God and that we can know Him through faith in Jesus Christ. He thought for a moment and then said contemplatively, “Now I understand.” Pray for him. I believe he is not far from the Kingdom.

Proclaiming Peace in Christ
With the world in such turmoil, we must not become lax in our obedience to the great command given by Jesus Christ to make disciples around the world. We must warn the nations of the world that they need to repent and turn to God while there is yet time. We must also proclaim that there is forgiveness and peace in knowing Jesus Christ.

This Christmas we have a nationwide My Hope evangelistic outreach in Thailand as well as in another Asian country that has long been resistant to the Gospel. We also have My Hope outreaches across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic next spring.

All of 2010 will be busy with evangelistic Crusades scheduled in Chennai, India (formerly Madras); Brazil; Japan; Latvia; Mexico; Canada; and cities right here in the United States.

Make an Eternal Investment
As we come to the end of the year, I encourage you to take advantage of the many tax-saving opportunities that are still available. Your investment now will be used by God to reap a spiritual harvest in the months ahead.

It is natural for people to look inward as we struggle with various problems that plague our own families and our own nation. But this Thanksgiving season, I thank God for people like you who stand with us financially and in prayer to reach out to a lost world in the Name of Jesus Christ.

In all we do, we exalt our Lord and Savior, who came to earth, died for our sins, and rose again that we might receive the gift of eternal life. “To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 1: 25).

May God richly bless you,
Franklin Graham
President

P.S. – If you’ll be in the area, stop by the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte and enjoy the Christmas celebration. There are special events every evening, Monday through Saturday, December 1–23. Last year 45,000 people visited for Christmas, and many hundreds made decisions for Christ.

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