(BGEA)

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your heart to see people transformed by the gospel.

That's exactly what happened recently in California. Thousands were "delivered ... from the power of darkness and ... transferred ... into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13). Because friends like you were burdened for their souls, they had the opportunity to hear the gospel during the Decision America California Tour.

Now you have the opportunity to reach thousands more in another region of the U.S. where many have never heard it: the Pacific Northwest. But first, listen to what God did in the lives of many Californians.

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Before Christians like you brought the tour to the Golden State, these people "were at that time apart from Christ ... without hope and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). Today, they are people with eternal hope.

I wish I could sit down with you and share story after story of all the changed lives in California. Until we reach heaven, though, we may never know the whole picture of what God did there. If you supported the Decision America California Tour, thank you on behalf of these new believers!

If you weren't able to pray or give, it's not too late. You can share the same gospel message with people across Oregon and Washington. In a few weeks, we'll kick off the seven-city Decision Pacific Northwest Tour, with stops in Medford, Bend and Portland, Oregon; and the Tri-Cities, Spokane, Tacoma and Monroe, Washington

Like California, these two states are among the most secular regions in the nation. Your gift of $75, $115 or more can proclaim Jesus Christ where many are trying to silence His name.

In Oregon, only 25 percent of people attend church, pray and read the Bible weekly. No wonder it was the first state in the nation to legalize physician-assisted suicide. And tragically, the number of people choosing to end their lives has been climbing each year.

Along with Colorado, Oregon was one of the first states to rule against Christian bakers who refused to create a cake for a gay wedding—and Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries was generally dismissive of this month's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of another Christian baker's religious liberty.

The situation is just as dire in Washington state. Nearly 20 percent of individuals proudly identify as atheist or agnostic. And the state's deep-rooted secularism goes back decades. It was one of only four states to declare abortions legal before Roe v. Wade in 1973.

After the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Christian florist in Washington could be next on the docket. Barronelle Stutzman, a 71-year-old grandmother, began working in the floral business 30 years ago. Over the years, she's befriended and served many in the homosexual community, even employing some at her florist shop. But when her faith would not allow her to participate in a same-sex wedding, she became the target of Washington's secular agenda. Last year, the state's Supreme Court ruled unanimously against her.

I met Barronelle a couple years ago in Olympia, Washington, and told her how proud I was of her for standing up for her Christian beliefs.

The religious liberty and free speech rights of Christian bakers and florists are just the tip of the iceberg for the Northwest—and America. If a Christian living and doing business in step with God's Word is prosecuted for discrimination, how long until God's Word is labeled as "hate speech"? How long before they censor or outlaw the Bible itself?

This isn't about politics. This is about the most fundamental issue of life: the eternal situation of men and women. If we can't openly share what God says in His Word, how will they find hope?

Franklin Graham is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

© 2018 BGEA

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