Search for Jesus at 10 Years: Rejoicing at What God Has Done

By Logan Ryan   •   August 1, 2022

Hundreds of volunteers and staff from across the world gathered at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Search for Jesus, a ministry that uses the internet to share the Gospel in various languages.
Since the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) launched its Internet Evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus, back in 2012, it has expanded to seven languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, American Sign Language and Russian.
The ministry enables people across the world to hear the Gospel message through search engines on the internet. Here, a woman uses American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate to the deaf in attendance. >> Find out more about Search for Jesus' deaf ministry.
Thursday night, Will Graham, the executive director of The Cove, welcomed the trained volunteers who make this ministry possible. These volunteers respond to those seeking spiritual guidance and taking discipleship courses, ultimately pointing them to the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Maria (middle) tried to run from her problems, but one day stumbled across, a Search for Jesus website, that pointed her to Christ. She started an online discipleship course with the woman (pictured on the right), meeting her in person for the first time two years ago. Now, Maria is a trained volunteer for Search for Jesus, coming full circle to help others start a relationship with Jesus.
A panel explained the original start of the Search for Jesus ministry, which first began while Preston Parrish (second from the left) was looking for ministry opportunities in France. He found a man who created landing pages for ministry purposes, so if people were looking online for help with grief, they would come across a page that would lead them to the Gospel. That man later met with Franklin Graham and told him he believed the internet ministry could reach 50 million people in 10 years. "Why not 100 million?" Franklin Graham asked, requesting he help launch the ministry. By God’s grace, two weeks ago, the internet evangelism ministry reached 100 million visitors on all their websites.
People who have known each other for many years only through the internet had the opportunity to meet and encourage each other last weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
"A true minister of the Gospel is a man confident in the God who gave us the Gospel," said keynote speaker Dr. Miguel Nuñez, a theologian from the Dominican Republic.
Musician Aaron Shust led worship through singing a series of hymns, which most attendees knew in their native language. The combination of languages created a beautiful chorus.
While Portuguese staff attended the conference, all Portuguese volunteers attended via Zoom. The conference was live-streamed in five languages. >> Read about the ministry of one Portuguese staff member.
Every volunteer received this booklet to celebrate 10 years of ministry. Inside are testimonies in various languages about those who gave their life to Christ through Search for Jesus.
Among the Spanish-speaking volunteers who attended, the countries of Spain, Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Puerto Rico were present.
A woman from Spain was contemplating ending her life (pictured here). She began to Google different forms of suicide when the site appeared. Right when she was about to leave the page, the chat button popped up. She started chatting with a trained volunteer who led her to Christ.
When the conference was spoken in English, volunteers who spoke in other languages received headphones to hear the conference in their native language.
At the end of the conference, Mark Appleton (not pictured), director of Internet Evangelism, led a corporate prayer: "Thank You, God. We celebrate You for what You've allowed us to do during these 10 years. We celebrate You, that You are drawing our hearts, that You gifted us the messages we received this weekend, drawing us to You ... changing us so that we can be Your vessels to change other people. And so we pray that You will continue to do that."