Georgia woman accepts Christ after watching Vancouver Festival online

Christy Beaumont couldn’t be in Vancouver for the Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham back in March, but was one of 65,000 people who watched online during the three-day event.

On March 5, Christy Beaumont was on her cellphone, scrolling through her Facebook feed, when something caught her eye: a promo for a Franklin Graham event happening that night.

The Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham was in Vancouver, Canada, nearly 3,000 miles away and clear across the country from Beaumont’s home in Georgia. But as someone raised in Alaska and familiar with western Canada, she was interested to see that the event would be streamed live online.

That night, she watched the whole thing on her phone from her bedroom, and with headphones on, heard music by Michael W. Smith and Ellie Holcomb, and a story about Zacchaeus from Franklin Graham.

“Maybe you feel small in the eyes of God,” he said that night, referencing the despised tax collector in Luke 19. “[But] even if you were the only person on this earth, God would’ve still sent His son to die for you.”

Weeks later, Beaumont couldn’t recall everything he said that Sunday night, but was drawn to the overall message of God’s love and sacrifice for her.

“It just felt like I was meant to listen to that,” she said, thinking back to Franklin’s message.

Beaumont was raised in church, but said that when her mother died 20 years ago, it changed her view on the God she grew up learning about.

“I guess I got angry. It hit me hard.”

“I want to be changed. I want to be different.”

She distanced herself from God, and although she thought about going back to church a few times, she never committed to it.

Now, as a former nurse with two daughters, 14 and 22, Beaumont has been seeking something greater in life—something beyond herself.

As Franklin led the crowd in prayer that night at Rogers Arena, Beaumont was thousands of miles away, praying along to fully surrender her life to Christ. She was struck by the fact that “Jesus accepts me, no matter what.”

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“Maybe you feel small in the eyes of God,” Franklin Graham said. “[But] even if you were the only person on this earth, God would’ve still sent His son to die for you.”

By that time, it was getting pretty late—there’s a three-hour time difference from Vancouver to Beaumont’s home south of Atlanta—but at the end of the live stream, Beaumont noticed on her screen that if she’d decided to give her life to Jesus, she could share the news with someone from the BGEA team.

She passed on her contact information and received a series of weekly emails with guidance on growing in her faith. That’s how she found out about the Know Jesus course, a free discipleship opportunity through BGEA’s internet evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus (SFJ).

Beaumont signed up for the course less than a week after the Festival.

“I’m hoping to grow in spirit and knowledge about Jesus, and that’s why I decided to enroll in this course,” she wrote to Cindy Silvey, a trained SFJ discipleship coach paired with Beaumont to guide her through the course.

Beaumont went on to complete all the lessons, calling Silvey “very encouraging and warm.” She reminded Beaumont of her mother.

In the past few months, Beaumont has also realized that she can go to God for anything and everything—like when she had a cancer scare in mid-May. She’s been trying to read the Bible and has been reading out of Philippians about casting your cares on Him.

The health scare also “shook up” her husband of 26 years, who Beaumont says just recently made the same decision for Christ that she did. Now the pair are sharing prayer requests and praying for each other.

“I don’t want to just say, ‘I’m a Christian’ and not change,” Beaumont said. “Not that I have to do things to repay my Savior … but I want to be changed. I want to be different.”

She’s trying to be kind and generous to people around her—as Jesus would do, she said—and wants to get baptized. Using SFJ’s online church locator, she found a church in her area and plans to visit.

“I definitely want to find a local church here,” she said.

In the meantime, she added, “I’m learning that whatever I go through down here, it’s important, but I guess I’m just now thinking about what it’s going to be like eternally. That’s where my focus has moved onto.”

That eternal mindset has caused her to think not only of reuniting with her mother one day in heaven but of seeing her Savior face to face.

“It gives me joy that I have this opportunity and so does everybody else.”