We’re all grateful for them. That time you said something you regretted, wasted an opportunity or hurt someone deeply. The story of redemption and having a wrong wiped off the slate is a beautiful one that most of us can relate to.
Perhaps that’s why so many churches in the United Kingdom are getting their copies of the latest My Hope U.K. film Second Chance so quickly.
Second Chance features a message from Billy Graham alongside three inspiring stories from Chris Llewellyn, former rugby player and now lead singer for the popular Irish band Rend Collective; Nathalie MacDermott, a doctor from Cardiff who’s worked in Liberia to fight the Ebola crisis, and pro-skateboarder Brian Sumner, who was raised in Liverpool and found fame with Tony Hawk.
Each of them went on a pursuit of success and notoriety that left them empty.
“I was totally religious about rugby … I was willing to lay aside everything else for this one pursuit.”
—Chris Llewellyn in Second Chance
“No one actually thought I would get into medical school, and I would have done anything to get there … There were times when I was really desperate.”
—Nathalie MacDermott in Second Chance
“My name is on skateboards. It’s on shoes … Kids are screaming at you … obsessing over you. I gained everything, but I had no clue about anything in reality.”
—Brian Sumner in Second Chance
“All three stories, and Billy Graham’s classic message in the film, address the underlying need that we all have for a second chance,” said Steve Wade, national director for My Hope U.K.
My Hope kicked off in the United Kingdom in 2014, with the release of The Cross, another message featuring Billy Graham, rapper Lecrae and singer Lacey that was first distributed in the United States.
“What was happening in the U.S. was very successful, and the Lord thought it was time to bring it over here,” said Reuben Morley, My Hope U.K. deputy church relations coordinator.
Since then, there’s been an overwhelming response in the U.K. for the free My Hope films being offered by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Second Chance was released last November. Between both My Hope U.K. films—The Cross and Second Chance—more than 15,000 churches have received DVDs to share with their congregations and communities—that’s over a third of all the U.K.’s churches.
“The church is saying, ‘We want resources to help us share the Good News of Jesus Christ,’” and both The Cross and Second Chance are doing just that,'” Wade said.
“Personally, I’ve been very encouraged,” Morley added. “Churches in the U.K., no matter what the denomination, are really wanting to come together and see the proclamation of the Gospel preached.”
Morley, who’s 25, says working with the project has even strengthened his own faith walk.
“I very much was in a Christian ‘bubble,’” he admitted. “It’s really opened by eyes to the fact that there are so many people doing amazing things for the kingdom of God.”
Some of the popularity of My Hope can be attributed to Billy Graham’s history in the U.K. The launch of Second Chance, for example, coincided with the 60th anniversary of his 1955 All Scotland Crusade. By the end of the six-week event, Billy Graham had preached to half of Scotland with some 10 million people watching via BBC.
“Everywhere we go, people come to us saying ‘My great-aunt’ or ‘my mom and dad’ or ‘my sister came to Christ at one of Mr. Graham’s Crusades,” Morley explained, noting that, through My Hope U.K., he met someone who went to Harringay 13 times to hear Billy Graham preach.
Power of the Gospel
With Second Chance, Wade hopes churches can begin to reach even more people struggling with finding worth and value—especially younger generations.
“Ten years ago, young people wanted to be doctors and teachers and nurses. Now they want to be sports stars, pop stars, reality TV stars,” Wade said. “There’s a whole generation not getting what life is all about.”
And that’s where he hopes Second Chance will strike a chord.
“Second Chance is all about people who thought they had life together and were successful, and God just came through and helped them to realize there was more to life than that, all the material things and successes.
How You Can Pray
The My Hope U.K. team is well on its way to reaching its ambitious goal of having My Hope DVDs in the majority of the U.K.’s 50,660 churches.
“Our hearts burn to see the U.K. saved,” Wade said. “We need to go back to the beginning and we need to recognize it’s all about the cross, it’s all about what Jesus has done for us.”
He’s asking that people pray for this project, even if they don’t live in the U.K.
“Pray that people will just get it,” Wade said. “We pray for leaders to get it, for congregations to get it, that it can be a real breakthrough in getting people straight back into believing the Bible is the Word with a capital ‘w’.
“We’ve got one person dying every minute in this country without knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior—37 percent of people in care homes have not had the Gospel preached to them ever in their lives.
“We’ve got a job to do.”
Do you have friends in the U.K.? Tell them how they can get involved in My Hope U.K.