BGEA Headed to El Paso to Share Hope of Jesus in 2 Languages

By   •   April 2, 2014

group of friends

Sitting along the Rio Grande is the city of El Paso, Texas, one of the 20 biggest cities in the United States.

Across the border from El Paso is Juarez, Mexico, and up the road 40 miles you’ll find Las Cruces, N.M.

The region is home to more than 2.7 million people and has the distinction of being the largest bilingual workforce in the Western Hemisphere.

So when the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accepted an invitation to host the Greater El Paso Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham, there were a few potential communication problems that needed to be quickly turned into no hay problema.

For starters, when Franklin Graham takes the stage at the University of Texas-El Paso’s Don Haskins Center, he will be joined by Galo Vasquez—BGEA’s Director of Latin America Ministries. Vasquez will translate Franklin Graham’s Gospel messages into Spanish, as he’s done in many Central and South American countries, including most recently in La Paz, Bolivia, in March 2013.

Nearly half of the churches involved in the April 5-6 Festival of Hope speak Spanish, including one-third which are fully Spanish-speaking congregations.

“It’s perhaps the first [traditional] Festival for Franklin in the U.S. where the message will be interpreted live from the platform,” Festival of Hope director Sam Hardy said.

The only other occasion happened in June of 2011 at the BGEA’s first Hispanic Festival inside U.S. borders—Festival de Esperanza in Los Angeles.

This Festival will weave both English and Spanish together as churches work past the language barrier to come together and spread the Good News in the Greater El Paso region.

“We’re doing every seminar, every publicity material in both English and Spanish,” Hardy said. “We had a prayer service of about 300 people that was fully bilingual. Every video was in English and Spanish. The music was one verse in English and one in Spanish. It was just a beautifully integrated prayer service.”

el paso

And the result of this dual-language Festival of Hope pre-planning has been nothing short of a work of God. Thus far, nearly 3,000 volunteers have been trained as counselors through the Christian Life & Witness course and FM419 youth classes.

Nearly one-third (177) of all churches located within a 100-mile radius of El Paso (on the U.S. side) have signed on for this evangelistic event to help reach unsaved friends and family around west Texas.

“It’s an extensive outreach,” Hardy said.

It’s also an extensive musical lineup. Saturday night will carry a youth focus and feature musical guests Thousand Foot Krutch, Flame and Funky.

Sunday will focus on the entire family and feature Daniel Calvetti, Michael W. Smith and a local Mariachi band. Both evenings will also feature the Tommy Coomes Band as well as Dennis Agajanian and the Gutierrez Brothers.

The BGEA has a long history communicating the Good News of Jesus in Latin American cultures. In 1958, Billy Graham’s Tour Caribbean included Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico. In 1960, Mr. Graham traveled to South America for a chance to preach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Franklin Graham has preached the Gospel in nine South American countries, dating back to Brazil (Londrina) in 1991, as well as Mexico and six Central American countries.

Most recently, the BGEA’s Spanish-speaking ministry efforts include Mi Esparanza con Billy Graham, a video-based, in-home outreach, centered around Mr. Graham’s 95th birthday in November 2013.  The BGEA’s Internet evangelism ministry also has launched a Spanish-speaking website,

festival of hope

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  1. Columbus Jude, Jr. says:

    I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior on April 5 1964.

  2. Joyce Paul says:

    Wondrous Work of Lord! Lord is completing His work through His anointed children… Dr Billy graham,.
    Dr Franklin Graham and Will Graham. God Bless You! amen

  3. Louise Montoya Barber says:

    THANK YOU for this ministry! I’ve been praying for my family in Las Cruces, NM, and in El Paso, TX. The may be God’s answered prayer! They are all religious, but not saved, and time is so short! I live too far away (CA) and don’t have sufficient funds to get to see them. I belive God is opening doors with this ministry!

  4. Mark McCoy says:

    Praying for the Holy Spirit to come in power for salvation for my hometown of El Paso and her sister city of Juarez! Blessings to the BGEA and all involved in this great event. Excited for the many souls who will enter the Kingdom!

  5. Margareta Cronholm says:

    Thank you. My prayer in Jesus Name goes to the project and Franklin Graham. The Lord is pleased and will support you in any way. Praise Him our Savior, Lord and God!

  6. paul brown says:

    Our prayers will be with you for a wonderful blessed time in witnessing Gods grace love and mercy!