Finding Freedom in Christ Ahead of Will Graham Celebration

By   •   June 20, 2022

Hunter (middle), his brother, Tristan (left) and friend Ryeland (right) were baptized on June 14. Their moms were taking an evangelism training class when the Holy Spirit prompted Hunter and Ryeland to find freedom through a personal relationship with Christ.

Before the bands set up and the doors open, God has been moving ahead of today’s Rappahannock Celebration with Will Graham (June 25).

Musical artists Rend Collective, Newsboys and Aaron Shust will lead worship, held at Fredericksburg’s Expo & Conference Center.

A lot of prayers have gone up from eastern Virginia for God to soften hearts leading up to the outreach. Many Rappahannock area believers participated in free evangelism classes from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

Will Graham preaches at last month’s Celebration in Tasmania, Australia, where it is currently wintertime.

Friends Megan and Erika took the Christian Life & Witness Course (CLWC) and were challenged to tell someone about the hope of Jesus.

“I immediately felt God laying my son on my heart,” Erika shared, as she and Megan prayed about their homework assignment.

With five kids under 11 years old and her husband traveling for work, it had been a rough two weeks for Erika. She was exhausted, discouraged and 9-year-old Hunter was having a meltdown.

“It honestly felt very strongly like spiritual warfare,” she shared. “It was just a really, really, really hard day and I didn’t know what to do.”

She sat on the stairs crying, feeling helpless as his frustration reached a boiling point, angry shouts coming from his room. Eventually, she was able to calm him down and Hunter said he didn’t like losing control of his emotions.

In her soul, Erika could feel God whispering, “This is your chance.”

Grabbing the Steps to Peace With God booklet from her CLWC class, she carefully explained what it means to repent of your sins and be forgiven, and to feel a relief from your burdens. Hunter prayed and told God he was sorry—and decided to follow Jesus.

That night, Erika told Megan what happened. Their families are friends and attend church together. Megan ran to her boy’s room to share and celebrate the news.

Before sunrise the next morning, Megan’s 9-year-old Ryeland ran down the hall to his parents’ room, tears streaming down his face. “Mom,” he cried. “I want to give my life to Christ and I don’t know how.”

He must have gone to bed “with his wheels spinning and his heart, too,” said Megan. The boys are close friends and share similar struggles with handling anger.

Megan picked up the salvation booklet from her nightstand. After talking and reading Scripture, Ryeland prayed to ask Christ into his heart.

A little while later, the boys were making pottery in the garage with Ryeland’s dad John, a professional potter. As they worked, he explained how they were now brothers in Christ.

Recently they celebrated with family and friends at Megan’s backyard pond as Hunter and Ryeland were baptized, along with Hunter’s brother, Tristan.

While their moms realize the boys may still have issues, they’ve already noticed significant heart changes.

“Our jaws dropped within two weeks … how much just changed in him,” said Megan. “We really felt like it was the fruit of the Spirit … giving him self-control and love for others in ways that we had never seen, that he’s worked on for so long.”

Erika could relate to this heart change.

“Repenting and accepting Jesus helped free [Hunter] some from what he had been dealing with to the extreme level.”

Jesus can set you free. Ask Him to forgive your sins.