Billy Graham has heard it all before.
Not Billy Graham, the famous evangelist from North Carolina; rather, Billy Graham, the 44-year-old Idaho businessman who removes mold from houses.
“Usually when people call, I say, ‘This is Billy Graham’ and they go silent,” said the contractor. “Or I’ll say, ‘It’s Billy Graham, no relation,’ and they start laughing.”
On a recent job in Minot, N.D., Graham spotted a Billy Graham Rapid Response van, driven by chaplains Dennis and Ginger Sanders. The truck caught his attention. He said, “Look, it’s my name.” He knew Billy Graham, the evangelist, of course, but he was not familiar with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
It wasn’t until Graham parked his Western Mold Pro truck next to a house where the Rapid Response Team and Samaritan’s Purse were both working that a connection was made.
Seeing the truck next door, Dennis and Ginger felt the Holy Spirit lead them to the house, but Graham was busy working in the basement. So they left some literature and came back early the next morning and met this Billy Graham, who had a gentle spirit and was very open to talking.
“He said his wife is a Christian, and that she would be very happy to meet us,” Ginger said. “I told him his wife couldn’t answer for him, that he would have to answer for himself.”
Meanwhile, as Graham was working on houses in North Dakota, his wife, Cami, was praying faithfully back in Mountain Home, Idaho, specifically for her husband’s salvation.
“I prayed that the Lord would place a godly man or couple in front of him,” Cami said.
Ginger and Dennis went through the BGEA “Steps to Peace With God” booklet with Graham, and Graham said he agreed with this plan of salvation for his life.
“He just started praying to receive Jesus right there,” Ginger said. “When he got done, he was crying. I was crying. Even my husband had a few tears I think.”
For the first time, contractor Billy Graham grasped the concept of salvation. “I got saved,” he said. “I’ve heard people say that before, but now I understand it. I accepted the Lord.”
An hour and a half later, Ginger received a call from Cami and the two talked aboutthe events that had taken place.
“I was so excited,” Cami said. “It just made me cry.”
Cami and Billy have been married for 25 years, but it wasn’t until eight years ago that Cami started living for the Lord.
“We’ve had a great marriage, but that part was missing,” Cami said. “Hopefully now we can have that spiritual connection and unity.”
Cami and Ginger couldn’t help but marvel at God’s plan. “Taking someone from Idaho to Minot, North Dakota,” Cami said. “God totally had His hand on this. God is good. He is just so good.”
For Ginger, this was but one of countless God stories the Rapid Response Team encountered during a six-week deployment that ended Sept. 9. They were able to pray with more than 1,200 people who were affected by severe flooding, leading dozens to Christ.
“Divine appointments were everywhere,” Ginger said.
But on this night, Ginger couldn’t help but think of the irony as the Rapid Response Team, Samaritan’s Purse and others gathered together under a big tent to share about their day.
They opened up the floor.
“Billy Graham was the first to jump up,” Ginger said. “He said, ‘I just want to share with you what happened to me today.’
“I thought in my mind, how ironic that in a tent, Billy Graham was telling everyone how he got saved.”