Jose became involved in the Festival with his church, and he chose to serve as a volunteer counselor who talks and prays with people when they respond to the invitation at the Festival.
Many of Jose’s friends lost all of their belongings in the flood six months ago.
“Most of the people are depressed because of the flood,” Jose says, “so there is a need of hope in Villahermosa.”
Jose also was involved in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s (BGEA) My Hope World Evangelism Through Television project that was implemented throughout Mexico in November 2006. Jose invited 15 people to his house to watch the My Hope broadcast, and they all responded to it and prayed to receive Christ in their hearts. Now they are part of his church.
But this weekend Jose is even more excited. He invited ten of his friends who don’t know Christ to attend the Festival with him. His entire family is going to come as well, some who are not believers.
He looks forward to growth in the family of God.
“Not only my church,” Jose says, “but all the churches involved are going to grow because of the Festival de Esperanza this weekend.”
Audelina’s pastor encouraged her to serve as a counselor for the Franklin Graham Festival de Esperanza (Festival of Hope) Villahermosa. In past weeks she’s been involved in the Women’s Congresso with the Festival, where thousands of women have prayed for Villahermosa and passed out leaflets on the streets of the city, inviting others to the Festival.
Audelina has been praying for her friend Marisol for years, and a few months ago, Marisol surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. Now she is a volunteer at the Festival with Audelina!
In all of her prayers, Audelina remembers her husband the most; he is not a believer, and he might attend the Festival. She also invited seven other friends who confirmed that they would attend tonight.
“This is a very good moment for the Festival because the hearts of the people are sensitive,” Audelina says. “They want to know something that will give them hope.”
During the My Hope broadcasts throughout Mexico in 2006, which involved more than 19,000 churches and 228,000 host homes, Galileo opened his home to six people so that they could see the broadcast. He shared his testimony, and four of his guests chose to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. They are all part of a local church now.
Galileo says that the Festival is motivating for the people of Villahermosa because large events that are open to the public for free are not common. He invited 10 friends who are nonbelievers to the Festival and expects them to come.
Galileo says, “My favorite part is the moment when Franklin Graham preaches and people receive Jesus in their hearts.”
Teodora participated in the My Hope project two years ago, and she had 12 guests come to her home to watch the broadcasts each of the three nights that it was shown. Most of them received Jesus in their hearts, and she has seen four of them baptized already.
During the flood that turned most of Tabasco into a lake just six months ago, Teodora lost all of her personal belongings in her home; they were damaged beyond repair.
Tabasco also had a problem with looting after the flood. Many homes were broken into, and undamaged items were stolen while people were waiting out the flood.
Because she knows how they feel, Teodora invited several friends who also lost their belongings in the flood and hopes that the Festival will encourage them.
Dulce Maria, an usher for the Festival de Esperanza this weekend, learned about Operation Andrew in her church. Operation Andrew is an outreach strategy where people pray for their non-believing friends every day.
Dulce Maria prayed for seven people each day for the past month, and she fasted for several days with others from her church. She also shared the Gospel message with her neighbors and invited many people to the Festival.
In her daily prayers Dulce Maria has been remembering her neighbor, a woman who has lived with an abusive husband for many years. Recently the husband left, and while he was gone he realized the evil way that he had treated his family.
The husband repented and came back to his family; they plan to attend the Festival together. As the healing process begins with this family, please pray that they will experience change through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“I am sure that Jesus answers the prayers of His children,” Dulce Maria says.
As the dedication service began, Jaime Morrell, famous singer in Latin America, spoke from the stage before he sang:
“In the middle of everything,” Morrell said, “the flooding, the pain, the loss, Jesus gives the peace that overwhelms.”