On the Sunday following recent BGEA broadcasts throughout the nation of Peru, hundreds of people packed into each of Iglesia Bîblica Emmanuel’s six services. Many stood shoulder to shoulder across the back and down the aisles, while more people waited outside in the rain.
The church, a large Christian center in Peru’s capital city of Lima, saw more than 500 members hosting home-viewing parties for the broadcasts.
BGEA has named the first Sunday following World Television Project broadcasts “Harvest Sunday,” as thousands of new believers stream into churches in the first steps of their new relationship with Christ. The scene at Iglesia Bîblica Emmanuel was repeated in churches big and small throughout Peru on that rainy Sunday morning.
Testimonies now pouring in show an enormous spiritual impact on the nation of Peru. With approximately 30 percent of more than 140,000 participating homes reporting, over 103,000 people have made first-time commitments to Jesus Christ, and another 29,000 have rededicated their lives to Him.
The pastor of Iglesia Bîblica Emmanuel said that they had so many new believers that they would have to start a seventh service on Sundays. Scores of new Christians stood in front of the sanctuary in each service while church members extended their hands toward them and prayed that God would sustain them. The pastor told the newcomers, “You are a gift from God, and we want to welcome you to this church.”
Preparing for the Harvest
The World Television Project is a powerful combination of evangelistic television programs and the energy of thousands of local churches, reaching across an entire country during the span of just a few days.
In the months leading up to the effort in Peru, BGEA trained churches and individuals in evangelism and follow-up. More than 7,500 churches opened their doors to this training, and as a result more than 140,000 individual homes hosted gatherings for nationwide primetime television broadcasts. The program in Peru, which aired September 8, 9, 10, and 15, featured Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, and the ministry’s movie Road to Redemption, translated into Spanish. The Billy Graham program was also televised in two local native languages, Quechua and Aymara.
Really Important People
Churches of all sizes participated and saw fruit on Harvest Sunday. Teenager Karen Boyer Bravo, who attends Comunidad Cristiana Shalom, a small church in a poor section of Lima, invited her 16- and 17-year-old classmates and several neighbors to watch the programs in her home. “These people were really important to me,” she said. “I was nervous, but they said yes.”
Ten of her classmates and four neighbors came to Karen’s house, including her history and biology teacher, a staunch atheist. At first he refused her invitation, but she persisted, asking him, “If you died, where would you go?” The earnest question moved him, and he agreed to watch the program. Before the teacher left her house, he said that he was convinced that God exists, and he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ along with several others.
Karen’s little church, its corrugated tin roof leaking rainwater, welcomed more than 70 new believers into the Kingdom of God on the Sunday following the broadcasts.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association launched the World Television Project in 2002 and has reached 12 countries–with hopes of eventually reaching every country around the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Tens of thousands of churches–and hundreds of thousands of church members–have been trained in evangelism, and more than 1.5 million people across the globe have made decisions for Jesus Christ. Please pray as plans and training for the project are moving forward in several more countries this year, including Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala.