“Since Christ came into my life, I have peace,” called a member of the audience at Grace Bible Church in Vernon, British Columbia.
“I have hope,” responded another. Still, others answered with words such as “joy,” “healing,” “purpose,” and “freedom.”
The believers, gathered on this warm June evening, were participating in a training about how to share their faith story with friends and family. They had come from churches across Vernon in preparation for the Thompson-Okanagan Look Up Tour with Will Graham—coming to Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vernon, British Columbia, in October.
Pastor and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) trainer Chad Miller gave the training, and Christian band The Color led worship. But mostly, the believers in attendance came to pray for friends, family, and neighbors who need to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
“The need is for the churches to start praying,” said Susan, who attended with her husband, Jerry. “The outreach won’t take off without the churches praying,” she continued.
“I think it’s a huge opportunity to demonstrate the Kingdom of God,” Jerry said.
Susan has been reading Jesus Revolution by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn. The book, recently turned into a movie, chronicles an early-1970s Gospel movement that broke out among the hippie population of Southern California.
“It’s really impacting me,” Susan said. She sees many parallels between the young people of that era and those in her own home region of the Okanagan, especially with the drug use and hopelessness many are experiencing. The opioid drug crisis, devastating lives across Canada, has taken a terrible toll on many in the Okanagan.
As Susan reads about what God did during the time detailed in the book, “I long for that to happen again,” she said. “We have the same terrible situations, the same terrible lostness, and the same terrible, desperate times.”
“There’s no other way. It’s Christ or nothing,” Jerry added.
As the Look Up Tour approaches, Susan and Jerry are praying for one of their neighbors who is struggling with an addiction. “We’ve shared Christ with him, and he knows, but he doesn’t trust. It takes the Holy Spirit and the grace of God,” Jerry said.
Your prayers and support are critical in strengthening and equipping the believers of the Okanagan as they proclaim the Gospel: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, ESV).
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Your support will help us proclaim the Gospel of hope in Jesus through our Festival and Celebration evangelism events, which feature inspiring music from well-known Christian artists, powerful stories of transformation and Gospel messages by Franklin and Will Graham.