The Tiny Projectors Making a Huge Haiti Impact
My Hope Reaches Remote Corners with 39 Mini-Projectors
July 19, 2011 - In the most remote parts of Haiti, unreachable by television or even radio programs, the Billy Graham My Hope team is sending in mini-projectors and 12-volt batteries to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ on July 21-23.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
— Acts 1:8
By Trevor Freeze
The task of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth is a huge task.
But in Haiti, it just got smaller.
Thanks to advances in projection technology, the 2011 My Hope Haiti program — which airs nationwide July 21-23 — will be broadcast in some of the most remote corners of the country, using tiny Optoma mini-projectors.
Smaller than a 3-by-5 notecard and less than an inch thick, the mini-projector reminds you at first glance of a pocket digital camera, only it shoots out a crisp picture about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep with audio to support a crowd of at least 50.
But perhaps the most valuable part of the mini-projector is its ability to recharge directly from a 12-volt motorcycle battery.
My Hope is a countrywide evangelism outreach from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, where mini-crusades take place throughout living rooms of “Matthew” hosts who have been trained through the churches.
And in the case of Haiti, the 54th country to host My Hope since 2002, the 30-minute programs this weekend featuring music, testimonies and sermons from Billy or Franklin Graham, will also include radio gathering spots and projector showings on the sides of churches and other flat surfaces.
“What this allows us to do is partner especially with those who have a heart to reach areas they haven’t had the means to get to,” said Jeremy Anderson, My Hope Haiti deputy country director. “They can go in and reach the unreached.”
So those areas up in the mountains? Near the Dominican Republic border? Places where you can’t flag down a radio signal?
All you need is the Optoma kit, a 12-volt battery and the My Hope program that’s on mini disk and, of course, willing hearts to take this digital Gospel message to some of the most rural areas of Haiti.
“When the pastors on the (My Hope) national committee saw this, they were very excited,” Anderson said. “Once they saw the technology, they saw the potential. "They wanted to make sure we knew that they wanted to go to the most remote parts of Haiti.”
In all, 39 mini-projector units will be used around the country, each carrying a 40-minute battery life, which can be fully recharged in about three hours.
These mini units will mostly be used in areas that don’t have access to TV or radio, which will serve as the primary medium in Haiti, where 75 percent of the population lives without power.
There are also 10 bigger projector units for the city areas, five of which have been working in My Hope commission since the Mexico 2006 project and have recently come in from several years of use in the Dominican Republic.
“These projectors have been used in many countries,” said Anderson, who started with My Hope on the 2006 India project. “I remember seeing these in Brazil in 2008.”
Most of the mini projectors will continue to be used in Haiti until at least November, when a majority will be sent to Zambia to help in the Dec. 1-3 broadcast there.
“They’ll try to hit all the areas,” Anderson said of the Haiti pastors. “It definitely allows the project to go on longer.”
Already, the project has seen God work in great ways. More than 5,500 churches have been trained to invite their friends, relatives and neighbors over for the broadcast, far surpassing the original known number of churches in the entire country.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” Anderson sad. “There’s great anticipation. The Christian media has really picked up on it.”
The national coordinator, Pastor Robert Jean Bilda, has been flooded with media requests and for the past two weeks has been promoting My Hope on either TV or radio nearly every day.
“It’s picked up incredibly,” Anderson said of the My Hope buzz. “Just from the call-backs from pastors, wanting to clarify that the programs will definitely be on when we said they would be.”
A total of 20 local and national radio stations will be airing the program as well as seven local and national TV stations.
Anderson is asking for prayer for Haiti these final few days, specifically during the broadcasts, which will air from 6:30 to 7 p.m. local time (Central) — the most sought-after time slot — directly after the evening news.
“It’s the absolute perfect time,” Anderson said. “It’s as good of coverage as you could hope for. That was a gift from God.”
Read a special letter about the My Hope project from Billy Graham.