FRIDAY FAVORITES: BACK TO THE BASICS – CALL HIS NAME

If you’ve ever felt frustrated with prayer, you are in the right place. Do you compare your prayers with others? Do your prayers seem simple? You know, you don’t have to pray long, eloquent, fancy prayers so God hears you. Just call His name.

Especially when it comes to the name of God. Ever hear God’s name tossed around, carelessly? It’s sometimes used in cursing or to make off-color comments, but that is not at all what God intended. God gave his name as a title to tell us something about himself. Psalm 105:3,4 says, “glory in His holy name, seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.” God wants us to know him. We can get to know him by relying on him, he wants us to call on his name.  God wants us to praise His name, to seek his power and that comes through prayer.

Some of us might feel a little embarrassed, we haven’t been faithful, God already knows everything about us. We are reminded about this in Psalm 139:1,2 “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Prayer is for our benefit. Prayer gives us the advantage.

It’s being comfortable and having confidence in the One we are asking. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He can’t love us any more than He does right now. He wants us to run to him with every concern, problem and difficulty. God says, “Just call my name.” Some people think of prayer as a formal meeting time. But prayer is as easy as calling out the name of Jesus. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  Try calling out God’s name today. Just call it out – Jesus. He will be there.

Father, Creator, Jesus are just a few of the names you can use to ask for God’s help. And there are many more. God is waiting for you.

 

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for India

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for India

I was supposed to be in India right now! But since my travel visa was not approved, God has shown me He wants me to gather prayer partners for the Esther Movement/Global Sharing team ministering from March 10 – 24, 2017. Are you in?

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Here’s a detailed account of

http://fromashestobeauty.com/2017/03/march-2017-from-ashes-to-beauty-news/  I hope you will take time to print the prayer guide and pray through the various needs of the team day by day. Thank you!

The Dalit women of India are overlooked and marginalized members of society. They work long and grueling hours in the tea plantations. The Esther Movement/Global Sharing team is bringing hope and healing through God’s word and their presence. Please pray for open hearts to God’s work in their lives for the Dalit women. Pray for strength and stamina for the team. Pray for healing and hope through Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Monday Motivation: Run Shirley Run!

“Run, Forrest, Run.” Remember the movie Forrest Gump? He says, “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I can run like the wind blows.

.”

My mom, Shirley Adkins, lives this way – she keeps on running. She decided to start running races at age 70 and hasn’t stopped. What does it take to keep on running? Not a runner, eh? Okay. For some of us, we need to consider how to start. We can ask what does it take to get going? How can we keep moving? Remember – you can’t move a car that is in park. Be willing to put your goals into motion. This works by applying two things:

  1. Resolve: My mom is determined not to give up. Webster defines resolve: “a firm course of action.” There are days she doesn’t feel like going to the gym or going on a jog, yet Mom keeps her schedule. I am impressed with how she implements her plan. Day in, day out, she follows through with her commitment to work out no matter how she feels.

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

  1. Renew: My mom resets her mind everyday through prayer time with God and studying His word. She asks God for help, even after dad passed away, mom continued and even increased her work outs.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Do not quit! You can do it. Yes, stay at it until you are done. The finish line is not that far off. Haven’t started yet? Okay. It is never too late. Begin today! Even if you are not a runner, just put your foot to the pavement and start moving. When you feel like giving up, instead choose to keep going. As you keep your eyes on the goal, your worry will change to worship, your fear to faith and your hang-ups to hope.

Let’s pray, Heavenly Father, thank you for helping us throw off the sin that is holding us back from the race. Thank you Jesus for reminding us to keep our eyes set on you, our Goal.  You are our inspiration to stay in the race. Thank you Lord Jesus for showing us how to finish well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Transformed Through Truth Launches March 2017

Transformed Through Truth Launches March 2107

The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Me too. Join me for the launch of our brand new program, Transformed Through Truth: www.hsbn.tv  I am delighted to offer new insights and practical examples of how real God is. You might wonder exactly how this will work? I invite you to join me each and every week. We are going to get to know God’s word and each other very well. Why should you make it a point to meet me? Very Simple. Everything is better together. You don’t want to miss out on anything God has for you.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good and pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Each program will be an exciting and unique time in God’s word, filled with practical applications. We are going to study the Bible together and

We are going to hear testimonies of how God has worked in my life and the lives of others. I love to share my testimony – I am so thankful for the amazing things God has done. I am a delivered drug addict, a stage four cancer survivor and a former widow. Don’t miss out on any of the life lessons God has taught me. Stay connected through watching Transformed Through Truth here or check out the archived versions http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Let’s pray – Heavenly Father, thank you for each one you have drawn to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Help them come against deceit as they cho0se truth. Let them find truth in You and know you in a deeper way. Thank you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Greece

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.”

Matthew 21:22

G – Pray for Greece

Thank you for praying through the alphabet with us in 2017.

We are going to focus on praying for Greek refugees around the world. Thank you for your choice to pray for the lost to be found – that they would find Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Pray for them to believe God has a plan even for their desperate situation. Thank you.

Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it’s often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.

Why is the country of Greece important to Christians?

Greek culture was introduced throughout the world of the New Testament by Alexander the Great during the intertestamental period. A young military genius, Alexander conquered the entire Persian Empire and more through a series of brilliant campaigns. Alexander’s vision included not only the conquest of the world but the propagation of Greek culture, i.e., the hellenization of all peoples.

Upon his death at the age of thirty-two, his kingdom was divided among three of his generals. The important point here is that the population of the area was subject to direct Greek rule for more than 150 years.

During that time, the Greek language was imposed on the Jewish nation and became, furthermore, the lingua franca of the entire New Testament world. The NT was written in Greek, though Jesus, Paul, James, Peter, and John all doubtless spoke Aramaic and read Hebrew as well.

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/asbury-bible-commentary/Greek-Culture

Geography

Area: 131,957 sq km

Southernmost part of Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe and 150 inhabited islands in the Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The islands constitute 20% of the land area.

Population: 11,183,393    Annual Growth: 0.22%

Capital: Athens

Urbanites: 61.4%

Peoples: 46 (22% unreached) All peoples

Official language: Greek    Languages: 24 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 10,228,331 91.46 0.0
Evangelicals 41,376 0.4 1.6

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Literature has proven to be a useful tool in the past, but greater variety would be a blessing. Pray for the seed-sowing work of the Greek Bible Society and the Gideons in disseminating the Scriptures and SU in producing Bible reading aids. AMG founded the publishing house O Logos and operates five Christian bookstores around the nation; other publishing ministries include Pergamos and Anogeion.

http://www.operationworld.org/greece

  • Pray for the financial meltdown to drive people to Jesus for lasting peace and security.
  • Pray for the Church to be purged of any heresy, syncretism, or division.
  • Pray for a clear presentation of the Gospel to reach a nation where very few have heard the Truth.

http://prayercast.com/greece.html

  1. Pray for protection for refugees as they travel.
  2. Pray for separated families to be reunited.
  3. Pray that refugees would be welcomed and befriended by Christians in their new countries.
  4. Pray for the wars and unrest in the refugees’ home countries to end.
  5. Pray for wisdom and compassion for world leaders as they face this crisis.
  6. Pray that God would sustain the Christian workers who are serving in refugee centers and camps.
  7. Pray for funding for the refugee outreach center in Athens that is struggling in the current economic crisis.
  8. Pray for our team going to Greece soon, that God would direct our steps.
  9. Pray that fruit would be born in the lives of those that we meet and share with.
  10. Pray that many refugees would find a new hope and home in Christ.

http://www.servantgroup.org/10-ways-to-pray-for-refugees-in-greece/

http://prayforgreece.net/

 

Transformed Through Truth TV Program Launches March 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am so excited about the launch of our brand new program:

Transformed Through Truth with Sheryl Giesbrecht.

Please join me – Sunday, Tuesday and Thursdays at http://hsbn.tv/[on-demand]%20transformed-through-truth.html

To watch on your mobile device, just go to your app store and download the app: Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network.

Why should you make it a point to meet me? Very simple.

I love to share my testimony – I am so thankful for the amazing things God has done.

Sometimes life seems unfair, lonely and frustrating. We need each other.

John 8:32 (NIV) says, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It can be a process to trust God enough to let go of our own emotional, relational and physical brokenness.

It’s only possible to move from bondage, that is, from captivity to freedom when we choose to believe God and take Him at His Word. We must dedicate ourselves to find out what God thinks, God helps us untangle the knots of deception so we can intentionally walk in our identity in Christ. The result will be transformation into the best version of ourselves we can be. And this complete makeover is what gives God glory. Imagine the how the freedom will feel! When we trade our bondage for spiritual breakthrough.

In the first show – The Great Exchange – I will share my testimony of how God broke through the lies of my unbelief through loving believers at a Christian camp. And after two weeks of experiencing how “Love covers a multitude of sins,” I embraced it.

I began to believe God’s love could cover the things that held me captive. It was finally clear: I didn’t need to clean up my act before coming to God; He loved me passionately just the way I was.

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

I didn’t know how to let go of my feelings of shame, blame and unworthiness. I didn’t know what it meant to literally let the blood of Jesus cover my sin, accept God’s forgiveness and learn how to walk in victory through my identity in Christ. I didn’t understand how to abide in the truth of what God says about me and act accordingly.

There’s a big difference between who you are in yourself and who you are in Christ.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 NIV)

In Christ – You are LOVED, You are SAFE, You are IMPORTANT

When you know who you are, it makes all the difference.

You are free from your past, to live on purpose in the present!

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good and pleasing and perfect will.”

I am so excited for you to join me at Transformed Through Truth.

Together, we will learn how to apply God’s word to our lives.

See you soon! Love you – Sheryl

http://hsbn.tv/[on-demand]%20transformed-through-truth.html

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Fiji

Pray Around the World!

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday: F – Pray for Fiji

Thank you for joining us to pray through the alphabet around the world. Today is the letter “F” so we are praying for Fiji.

Fiji

Republic of the Fiji Islands

Geography

Area: 18,274 sq km

Two larger and 110 smaller inhabited islands, both volcanic and coralline.

Population: 854,098    Annual Growth: 0.62%

Capital: Suva

Peoples: 35 (11% unreached) All peoples


Official language: English; Hindustani and Bau Fijian commonly used

Languages: 21 All languages

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 555,591 65.05 1.2
Evangelicals 215,408 25.2 2.1

Challenges for Prayer

Less-reached peoples. The Indians of Fiji form the largest non-Christian community in the Pacific. As few as 3% of them claim to be Christian. The greatest challenges for Indian-majority churches are developing (and retaining) mature and experienced leaders and integrating with the rest of the body of Christ. For specific prayer:

  1. a) Hindus remain mostly unevangelized. The number of converts to Christianity is accelerating. AoG in particular but also Methodists, Baptists and Pentecostals have seen fruit from this ministry. Multi-racial congregations are springing up among them. Pioneers also has church planting ministries committed to reaching Indians. Pray for real disciples and not mere surface converts; pray also for more culturally appropriate outreach to this people. The minority of Indo-Fijians who are Christians are taking initiative in reaching their own people.
  2. b) Sikhs and Punjabis retain more of their culture and language, but there is little specific outreach to them. Many are emigrating to Antipodean or Western countries.
  3. c) Gujaratis in particular have remained unevangelized among all Fiji’s South Asian origin peoples. They have largely retained their caste structures. There are only a few believers from among this group, and no specifically focused outreach to them has ever been made.
  4. d) The Muslim community is tightly knit, very resistant to the gospel and increasingly Islamized via Saudi and Pakistani influence. Little is being done to reach them; the few converts to Christ suffer from considerable persecution and from the churches’ failure to integrate them. Several Fijian villages have become Muslim. An increasing awareness, regionally and globally, of this people – the Pacific Islands’ largest unreached group – has generated a groundswell of attention and prayer; locally, this is translating into encouraging signs of spiritual interest and response from the Muslim community.

Christian help ministries in Fiji have a Pacific-wide impact. Pray for:

  1. a) Christian literature. The Bible Society of the South Pacific is based in Fiji. Pray for translation work, printing and distribution of God’s Word throughout the Pacific. Translation and revision work in Fijian and Fiji Hindi are both needed, since good Christian material is lacking in these two languages. Thank God for progress of the NT in Fijian Hindi. CLC has recently opened three Christian bookshops.
  2. b) Ministry to young people. Fiji has serious sociological problems among its youth, yet there is a responsiveness that needs to be met. Pray for those specifically ministering to young people in Fiji and the Pacific – CEF, YFC, SU and YWAM among youth, and Pacific Students for Christ (IFES) and CCCI among students. The University of the Pacific in Fiji has students from every island territory and is strategic for impacting many islands which have much nominal Christianity.
  3. c) The more remote communities are much less reached and resourced by the Church. YWAM’s Mobile Ministry seeks to reach these communities by ship and by truck, sharing the gospel and providing medical and dental care.
  4. d) Media ministry. Fiji has Christian TV and radio stations run from within the country. Pray that they might be fruitful in reaching and discipling many. Radio programmes and the JESUS film are available in all the major languages of Fiji.

http://www.operationworld.org/fiji

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the opportunity to pray for the men, women, boys and girls of Fiji. Strengthen the body of Christ in Fiji. Strengthen the youth ministries through CEF, YFC, SU and YWAM, my your Holy Spirit go forth in a powerful way to gird up those who are inviting Jesus to help them. Give them Godly wisdom, direction, instruction and teaching. Thank you, In Jesus’ name, Amen

Monday Motivation: Stillness

OK Monday Let's Do This

Monday Motivation: Stillness

Our best Monday Motivation begins with a choice to turn to God. When we focus our eyes on him, we can process and actually do what Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know I am God.” Being still before God means to cease striving, stop activity, to rest in him. Our Heavenly Father loves it when we invite his presence and take time to sit completely motionless before him. In our cessation of activity, we anticipate his voice to speak into our lives. Let’s pay attention to Him. Here are a few wonderful verses to help you get through your Monday. Won’t you take five, be still and listen?

Meditate on these five verses as you seek the Lord on a Monday morning:

  1. The Lord will give you rest when you feel tired.
    Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. ­Matthew 11:28-29
  2. The Lord will give you strength when you feel weak.
    Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God;
    he created all the world.
    He never grows tired or weary.
    No one understands his thoughts.
    He strengthens those who are weak and tired
    . –  “Isaiah 40:28-29
  3. The Lord will give you peace when you feel anxious.
    The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body.  “Isaiah 40:28-29”]
  4. The Lord will give you confidence when you feel uncertain.
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. “Proverbs 3:5-6 ”
  5. The Lord will give you hope when you feel hopeless.
    May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Romans 15:13”

http://news.americanbible.org/blog/entry/bible-blog/5-bible-verses-for-beating-the-monday-blues

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me to be still. Quiet my mind, heart and soul to rest in you. Give me supernatural energy as you share my yoke. Give me strength when I feel weak. Give me peace when I feel anxious. Give me confidence when I feel uncertain. Give me hope when I am lost. Thank you Lord for motivating me on this Monday. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Friday Favorites: Solutions Magazine Features Zur:God Our Rock

My Solutions magazine Feb 2017

Solutions Magazine Features – Zur: God Our Rock from Experiencing God Through His Names by Sheryl Giesbrecht

Check out the article here: http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/february-2017/

What’s in a name? A lot actually. Names are powerful. A person’s character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. What expectant couple hasn’t planned and prayed for the name they would give their child? This thoughtful naming concept is also true about God – God has chosen specific names to identify Himself. In fact, God’s attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. If we understand the meanings of His titles, we can know God more intimately.

Some of you may already be familiar with a few of the many names of God – Father, Abba, Yahweh. You’ve sung Good Good Father and Yahweh Yaweh – And each one of these names reveals something about His character. It’s a great thing to take time to examine these special names of God, one by one.

Studying the names of God one by one, is like looking at a postcard of the Grand Canyon. The solo shots each show a segment of a breathtaking view. When we absorb truths about God one at a time, we can better understand the reality and certainty of His character and the capability of His presence in our daily lives.

When you understand God’s names, you see how God reveals Himself to the person or group where he showed up. These specific names reveal His purposes, character and His commitment to us. The names of God give us practical handles for life applications. Like tools for our tool belt, it is so helpful to know God wants us to remember His names and His character. There is no one like our God!

God does not hide from us. In James 4:8 it says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

There are many ways to draw close to God as we study His word. Spiritually, something exciting and personal happens when we study God’s names, we find out about His unique character qualities and experience His Holy Spirit presence.

I can’t wait for you to experience God showing you more of His power and presence. I am very excited to share my new book “Experiencing God Through His Names” has been getting noticed. In fact, this month one of my devotionals from the book is featured in My Solutions magazine http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/february-2017/

Did you know you can still order your own signed autographed copy of “Experiencing God Through His Names”? Send an email here: sherylgiesbrecht@aol.com  It is my prayer that you and I will journey together in study and fellowship as we get to know God in this way.

If you have purchased a book and studied it yourself or even been in one of my “Experiencing God Through His Names” Private Facebook Study groups, why not share the news with someone you love? Or even buy a book for them? Or go directly to Amazon now: https://www.amazon.com/Experiencing-God-Through-His-Names/dp/0692743014

Its exciting to remember the names of God each reveal something about His character. Understanding God’s titles reveals His purposes and His commitment to us and gives practical handles for life applications. There are many ways to draw close to God as we study His word. Spiritually, something exciting and personal happens when we study God’s names, we find out about His unique character qualities and experience His Holy Spirit presence.

0 Zur Sheryls meme

When we study the names of God, we:

  • Experience God’s power in fresh ways
  • Increase our desire for intimacy with God
  • Apply our experience with God to other areas of life – parenting, marriage, marketplace and personal communication

Exodus 20:24 says, “Wherever I cause My name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.” God wants us to understand Him as we study His character through His names. Take a minute to underline Exodus 20:24 in your Bible, and let’s pray:

“Heavenly Father, I honor your name, I bless your name, I praise your name. I pray for your wisdom, discipline and insight as I embark on the journey of knowing you by Your names. Lord, I want to experience you more. Thank you for your willingness in allowing me to find you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

 

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Ecuador

Pray Around the World!

Pray Around the World!

Worldwide Wednesday: E – Ecuador

Pray for Ecuador

Ecuador

Republic of Ecuador

Latin America

Ecuador flag

Geography

Area: 269,178 sq km

Amazon jungle in the east, high Andean Sierra in the centre, fertile coastal plain on Pacific Coast. Also the Galapagos Islands, 1,000 km to the west.

Population: 13,774,909    Annual Growth: 1.07%

Capital: Quito

Urbanites: 66.9%

Peoples

Peoples: 31 (6% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Spanish    Languages: 25 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 13,010,402 94.45 1.0
Evangelicals 1,170,089 8.5 4.9

Ecuador map

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Missions. The largest groups are HCJB, MAF, AoG, CB/CMML, AV, OMS, IT. Many opportunities remain for missionary recruits in supportive ministries, church planting and pioneer work in the groups mentioned below. Pray for good church-mission relationships. The ever-present danger of administrative and financial paternalism threatens to impose Western patterns and stifle Ecuadorian initiatives.

The less-evangelized:

  1. a) The slum-dwellers of Quito and Guayaquil. Over 60% of the latter’s population are extremely poor, and many live in slums built on a polluted marsh. Few Christian workers have a vision for these deprived people.
  2. b) The upper and middle classes are relatively unresponsive (CMA, OMS and others).
  3. c) University and school students. Over eight agencies are involved in campus ministries among the 250,000 students (on more than 300 campuses), including CCCI, CECE (IFES), YFC, LAM and four denominational groups. There is still much room for growth.
  4. d) The Afro-Ecuadorian people are only 0.03% evangelical. Although there are many Catholics among them, Spiritism is the true spiritual power at work in their midst. Pray for a breakthrough among this unique group.
  5. e) The 28,000 people living on the distant and barren Galapagos Islands now have a growing ministry in their midst through MVI. The islands host many eco-tourists who, through Darwin’s legacy, are often hostile to biblical Christianity.
  6. f) Loja province is isolated from mainstream Ecuadorian life and is only 0.1% evangelical. Operation Esperanza is a multi-agency effort to see fruit in this region through prayer, radio, evangelism and holistic ministry (SIM, OMS, WV). Good Shepherd Radio broadcasts the gospel to many isolated villages otherwise difficult to access.

http://www.operationworld.org/country/ecua/owtext.html

April 2016: Franklin Graham is asking for prayer as Ecuador sorts through the rubble from a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck its Pacific coast on Saturday. The South American country, nestled on the equator between Colombia and Peru, is getting help from Samaritan’s Purse and other relief organizations.

“Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the people of Ecuador who are suffering as a result of the devastating earthquake that shook their country this weekend, killing hundreds and injuring more than 2,500,” BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham posted on Facebook. “We have Samaritan’s Purse staff on the ground in the affected area with more on the way, including medical personnel.

“Please remember the people of Ecuador in your prayers as well as our teams working to bring help.”

Franklin Graham has preached to more than 8 million people since conducting his first evangelistic event with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989. In 2006, he held the Festival of Hope in Ecuador’s state capital of Quito where a record crowd joined him and more than 14,000 indicated decisions for Christ.

Galo Vasquez, a native of Ecuador, was the associate director at that Festival, and vividly remembers watching God work. After extensive planning for a three-day event, the Festival had to be condensed to two days due to a scheduling conflict with the venue.

Quito, Galo said, is located in a valley, so people didn’t usually venture out in the evenings because of the weather. But for the two nights of the Festival, a record crowd attended.

Among those in attendance was a delegation of pastors and leaders, who wanted to invite Franklin Graham to their city of Guayaquil. Plans were made, and in 2007, the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope was held in the port city. Another record crowd turned out and thousands more made decisions for Christ.

“The most influential cities of the country were really impacted with the Festivals and a large number of people heard the Gospel, and there were many that responded,” said Galo, who now serves as BGEA’s Director of Latin American Festivals.

Galo was born in Ambato, Ecuador, but moved to Quito with his family when he was 9 years old. The majority of his family, including his 92-year-old mother, still lives there today.

“I was having a hard time connecting with them because the lines were oversaturated, but I was able to talk to them yesterday morning,” Galo said. “They’re in shock. The whole country is in shock with the circumstances because they’re just beginning to see the actual damage. They felt the earthquake that lasted over 30 seconds, but by the grace of God they’re doing fine.”

This isn’t the first major earthquake for Ecuador, which also experienced a devastating one almost 30 years ago. Galo’s hope is God’s people will see the opportunity within the natural disaster.

“This is not the first time we’ve seen this,” Galo said of the earthquake. “The last big one was in 1987 so it does bring people into a process of reflection about the supernatural and consequently, an exercise of thinking more about God. As they seek for God, they become more sensitive to the spiritual things and messaging so now I wouldn’t be surprised if the people would be open to going to church.

“I would say we do need to pray that God’s people would be wise. This is a good opportunity to go and demonstrate the love of God.”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for all mankind. You are sharing with us your heart for people all around the world. Thank you for your grace and mercy. We ask for you to reach into the depths of destruction, despair and discouragement and send forth your healing and hope. Send your complete and total restoration of the land, repair the broken streets, build up the ruined walls. Mend families, broken lives and broken hearts through the power of the love of Jesus. Thank you for recovery and renewal. May your kingdom come and your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.