… Welcoming all who [come], preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. —Acts 28:30–31, NASB
My father joins me in thanking you for supporting the ministry of the Billy Graham Library. He celebrated his 99th birthday last fall and is now in his 100th year of life.
When the idea of a Billy Graham Library was proposed, my father strongly objected. He had no interest in a monument to himself. He only agreed after he was assured that the Library would be an ongoing evangelistic Crusade where Jesus Christ is boldly proclaimed and every visitor hears the Gospel.
Since the Library opened in 2007, we have welcomed over 1.2 million visitors from all 50 states and 99 countries. More than 30,000 people have told us about making a decision for Christ as a result of God working in their hearts during their Library visit. We give God all the glory.
During recent years when my father’s age and health have kept him mostly at home, he has loved to hear stories from the Library about changed lives—he often responds simply by pointing upward in a wordless expression of thanks and praise to the Lord.
I pray that you too will be encouraged as you read these stories of God at work. There are many more we could share, and you have an active part in them all through your prayers and gifts. We are deeply grateful.
May God richly bless you,
‘God Could Never Forgive Me’
A longtime volunteer named Sam burst into the staff offices in back of the Library to announce in an excited voice: “Lauren* is here!” Sam had met the young woman five months earlier during his personal street ministry and shared the Gospel with her, but her heart was not ready. So he invited Lauren to visit the Library. Ever since then, he had regularly mentioned her name to other volunteers and staff as a prayer request. Finally, she had come.
Lauren took the Library’s Journey of Faith tour while Sam, praying silently, went back to his volunteer duties. Then Sam arranged for a staff intern named Emily, who is about Lauren’s age, to meet her. The two young women sat down over a meal in the dairy bar and talked. Gradually Lauren began to open up, sharing her story of abuse, prostitution, and homelessness—and broken dreams. After a time, Emily read to her from Matthew 6 about God caring for the birds of the sky, the lilies of the field, and most of all, for His children. When Emily finished reading, Lauren said, “That was about me, wasn’t it?”
But she quickly looked away, whispering, “God could never forgive me.” She shared her overwhelming sense of guilt—when she became pregnant, she believed she could never bring a baby into her world of living on the street, and she had an abortion. “Every time I see another mother with a child, I remember what I did, and I know God could never forgive me,” she said, weeping. Emily responded, “God does not despise you. He can forgive you.”
She reminded Lauren of what she had already heard—that Jesus Christ gave His life to take away Lauren’s sins. Emily reached over to touch Lauren’s trembling hand and asked, “Do you want God’s forgiveness right now?” She did want it, desperately. They prayed together, and Lauren gave her heart to Christ as Savior and Lord.
Soon after, Emily helped Lauren find Sam to tell him about her salvation. Tears ran down his cheeks as he witnessed God’s answer to the prayers he had been praying for so many months. Later that day, Sam helped Lauren find a safe place to stay, off the streets, as she began her new life in Christ.
Sam has volunteered at the Library since 2013. We are grateful to God for our nearly 300 trained and active Library volunteers.
A Fun Outing—A Changed Heart
A group of 10 older guests, some in wheelchairs, exited the final theater of the Journey of Faith tour with smiles on their faces, chatting about how much they were enjoying their visit. But a Library volunteer noticed that a man in his 30s, who was assisting the group, seemed to be having a difficult time emotionally. He had just heard the Gospel about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and realized for the first time in his life that God truly loved him. The volunteer invited him to slip into the prayer room where, with tears flowing, he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He had set out to take senior citizens on a fun outing and ended up with a transformed heart and a whole new purpose for his life.