Exchanging Sorrow for Hope in Uruguay
September 28, 2007 - In order to spread the hope of Jesus Christ throughout Uruguay, more than 1,600 churches across the country have joined to participate in the Mi Esperanza (My Hope) World TV Evangelism Project, which will broadcast evangelistic programs on Uruguayan national TV networks September 27–29, 2007.
With culturally appropriate testimonies and music, these unique programs will feature Billy Graham and Franklin Graham sermons on the first two nights, and the BGEA film "Road to Redemption" on the third night.
Of all the countries in South America, Uruguay has the highest suicide rate, and nearly 20 percent of the population suffers from depression. "Uruguay is a very secular country, [but] the secularism has left them empty, and they are finding out that they need to fill that void," says Ernesto Dueck, the national coordinator for My Hope Uruguay. "They have tried pretty much everything and still found themselves empty."
In the midst of chronic hopelessness, calling out to God is the only way to experience complete transformation. Dueck has noticed a significant change in people’s openness to the Gospel throughout Uruguay in the past 10 years. "They are searching, and they are finding Christ," he says.
In the past year, thousands of pastors from each region of Uruguay learned how to train their church members in evangelism. Christians trained in My Hope’s evangelistic outreach are called "Mateos," or "Matthews," because they will host a gathering similar to the Biblical account of Matthew, who hosted a party to introduce his non-believing friends to Jesus. More than 15,000 Matthews in Uruguay are eager to invite at least 10 people to their homes to view the My Hope broadcasts this weekend.
After viewing the broadcasts, "Matthews" will share their personal testimonies and invite their friends, family, and neighbors to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. They will bring new believers into fellowship with them at a local church.
"Matthews" and countless other Christians in Uruguay have been praying for months, and excitement is high in local churches. One electronic technician in Uruguay gathered old TVs, repaired them, and gave them away so that more people could participate. In a rural community, one pastor knew that his church members could not participate in My Hope because most did not have TVs. After much prayer, he obtained 12 TV sets.
Young people from churches nationwide have stood on street corners to hand out over 200,000 pieces of Gospel literature, and 8,000 DVDs of the broadcast have been given out to people who do not have access to cable TV. Public DVD showings will continue through October.
The programs will be transmitted on the Internet for Uruguayans living in other countries, and there are even Matthew hosts in other countries that plan to watch the Internet transmission with unsaved friends. View the Internet transmission here.
As excitement builds for the broadcasts this weekend, please pray for the people of Uruguay. Pray that as the Gospel is presented across the country, people will be stirred to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
Read about the results!