As I turn 93, I am thankful to the Lord that not long before my birthday, I was able to complete a book I’ve been working on for some time.
The book is called Nearing Home, and it’s about how to prepare for and face the challenges of growing old, and how to finish well. I’ve written down lessons and insights I wish I had learned earlier in life, because I have come to realize that although I know how to die, no one ever taught me how to grow old.
Even as I look forward to seeing Jesus Christ face to face, and to being reunited with Ruth, my parents, and a host of friends who have now gone on before me, God continues to give me time on earth. My failing eyesight keeps me from reading as I once did, and my physical stamina is low, but I have more time to pray. I talk to the Lord about the needs of family and friends, and about the work of evangelism that God has called us to at BGEA.
The Bible says, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14, NIV), and that is what I pray for. It fills me with gratitude to know that God is using our ministry—through modern advances in communication—to reach more people with the Gospel today, in more countries, than ever in the history of BGEA.
God has allowed me to preach in person in over 185 countries during my lifetime, and I would like to preach again, but for now don’t have the strength to stand before an audience.
However, through the miracle of technology, God is graciously allowing me to proclaim the Good News in several countries this year—three of them where I never had the opportunity to lead a Crusade. Instead of a stadium, the My Hope project uses tens of thousands of home gatherings held simultaneously throughout an entire nation.
Christian families invite their nonbeliever neighbors and loved ones to watch evangelistic broadcasts prepared especially for a particular country. The programs have my Gospel messages carefully dubbed into the local language. Other programs have a message from Franklin. After each broadcast, hosts share their own testimony with the guests and invite them to turn to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith.
In Haiti recently, over 100,000 people made decisions for Christ as a result of My Hope. During December we are doing a similar evangelistic outreach across the African nation of Zambia, a land where I last preached 51 years ago, and in Portugal and Spain, European nations where God never opened the door for me to preach in person. Please pray with us that many will “put [their] hope in Christ” (Ephesians 1:12).
God is also blessing us with other wide-open doors for ministry.
Many thousands of individuals from all over the country and the world have reported giving their lives to the Savior Jesus Christ as a result of our new Internet evangelism (learn more at SearchforJesus.net).
And starting this year, we are reaching children around the world through a specially developed evangelism and discipleship program called The Greatest Journey. We believe we will see more than 3 million children using this wonderful material that not only teaches them the Scriptures and how to follow Christ, but also equips them to share Him with others.
I’m grateful that I have lived long enough to see these things happening. God says in the Bible, “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance” (Psalm 2:8). Some refer to that as God’s own prayer request. He wants every nation to turn to Him. Join me in continuing to ask Him.
At this Thanksgiving season, I am especially grateful for each of you and for your support in prayer and financial gifts.
May God bless you,