One of the blessings Laurie and I have always enjoyed is the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world where TBN is broadcasting the good news of Jesus through our many international networks. Needless to say, during the past year or so the COVID pandemic made such travel impossible.
Thankfully, over the past months restrictions have eased up, so that Laurie and I recently had the joy of traveling again across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, to film new programming and check in with some of TBN’s life-changing networks, studios, and broadcast associates.
As we found ourselves landing once more in such international cities as Rome, Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, and others, I couldn’t help but think back almost ten years to 2012, when Laurie and I, along with our sons Caylan and Cody, accompanied my late father, TBN founder Paul Crouch, on an extended tour around the world, so that he could check in one more time on the scores of stations and networks that he had a hand in growing over his forty years as a pioneer in Christian television.
From TBN’s full-power stations across America to our international networks throughout Latin America, Europe, the Baltics, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia — each stop we made on that memorable journey represented to my dad a milestone of God’s faithfulness in the commission He had given my parents to take the message of Jesus to every corner of the earth.
I can still see him pausing in this or that city along our itinerary to express his gratitude for his beloved TBN family of partners who had faithfully committed with him to establish these powerful beacons of hope and healing in strategic places across the earth. Most importantly, over and over he thanked God for the countless individuals, families, communities, and nations that were being impacted and transformed through TBN.
"...my parents were part of a generation of committed individuals who took to heart the Great Commission Christ gave to all who would follow Him...."
Looking back, I realize more than ever that my parents were part of a generation of committed individuals who took to heart the Great Commission Christ gave to all who would follow Him: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, NKJV). For my parents, that meant laying down other interests and endeavors — surrendering all — and spending every ounce of their energy and resources to spread the good news of Jesus to “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
Recently Laurie and I came across a wonderful book about another legendary member of that soul-winning generation — my dad’s friend, evangelist Billy Graham. In Saturdays with Billy, Dr. Graham’s pastor, Don Wilton, recalls the Billy Graham he grew to know well over the many years of Saturdays he spent with Dr. Graham in his later years, talking about family, sports, politics, the deep faith they shared — and the sixty years Dr. Graham spent traveling the world, sharing the gospel with over 210 million people.
“The joy of his life was to share the love of Christ with people of the world,” writes Pastor Wilton of Billy Graham. “All who met him heard about the Lord Jesus, and all who knew him understood that Jesus Christ was the Lord of Billy Graham’s life.”
Dr. Graham’s heart was touched with the same passion to win the lost that motivated my father to travel the world, launching and guiding Christian television networks across the globe. For both my father and mother, that lifelong quest was all about winning “just one more soul for Christ,” as I heard my father say many times.
“The world has never been more in need of Jesus,” he told me not long before God called him home. “And the opportunities to share His love with untold millions have never been greater.”
He reminded me of the call God had given him and my mom to use television and media to take the gospel to the nations, and how they had pressed forward without reservation to fulfill that call.
“Now it’s your turn,” he challenged me. “You’ve got the tools, you’ve got the blueprint, and you’ve got the same God who guided us to open new doors where millions more need salvation. You and your generation have a responsibility to keep taking the message of God’s mercy until Jesus returns.”
My dad couldn’t have been more accurate — or prophetic — in the charge he gave me that day. Friend, you and I are that generation God has called to continue carrying the mantle of passion for souls that individuals like Billy Graham and Paul Crouch faithfully carried throughout their lives. We have been handed the same responsibility that compelled them — a divine mandate to continue what the godly generations before us started, to “go into all the world” and share the message of salvation, healing, and hope through Jesus to individuals, families, communities, and nations — until Jesus calls us home.
As always, thank you for your faithful prayer and partnership with us in this epic mission to win the nations for Christ. May God bless you and yours as you pursue all He has for you to accomplish.
Our love and prayers for you,
Matt and Laurie