Franklin Graham: We need more Daniels

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Michael F. Haverluck (

Franklin Graham preachingEvangelist Franklin Graham is proclaiming that the time has come for Christians to see America as their mission field and stand up like the Old Testament prophet, Daniel, did for God’s Truth — and shine His light in an increasingly godless nation.

When the son of the iconic world evangelist, Billy Graham, spoke to a crowd from the steps of the North Dakota State Capitol during his 26th stop on the Decision America Tour in Bismarck, he expressed a grave concern about the next generation of Americans.

"Daniel, in the Bible, lived in one of the most heathen, pagan countries in the world, but became prime minister under seven kings and two empires," the younger Graham shared. "We need Daniels today."

It starts with the youth

Spreading the Old Testament message from the book of Daniel to her students, 7th-grade Bible teacher Lois Johnson from Williston Trinity Christian School, has made it a mission to raise “Daniels” in her classes so that they will “stand up and stand out in a secular society.”

"I just see the need for prayer in our country," said Johnson, who drove four hours to attend the event sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). "I thought it was a great opportunity for our students to experience this, especially since it's such a pivotal year in America."

When others on campus heard that Johnson was going across the state to attend the event, her entire middle school decided to make it a field trip —including many parents and Williston Trinity Christian School Principal Cory Fleck.

"It is very special — in our country — to have this opportunity," expressed Fleck, who joined 3,100 other North Dakotans at the Decision America Tour. "We are also aware that these freedoms could be taken away from us. I think that's why I felt the importance to come here. And if the students don't understand their rights as Americans — and as Christians — we'll be overrun, eventually."

Counting our blessings

Angela Nible, who teaches social studies at Williston, said that it was important for her students to attend a public prayer rally so they could experience exercising their religious freedom as Americans and learn to appreciate how blessed they — and their parents — are to be able to choose a Christian education.

"It's so important to have educational options — whether it's public school, Christian school or homeschool," Nible stressed. "And to be able to come together like this and meet with the whole family of God is a freedom I don't take for granted. I hope this freedom continues. It's really important."

Traci Shirk — a colleague of Johnson, Fleck and Nible at the Christian middle school — shared that the prayer rally served as a reminder to students that the only reason why America is free and blessed is because of God.

"We talk a lot about politics and we study the history of our country, but we as Christians need to define who we are —our founding fathers were Christians,” Shirk explained. "We need to speak up and remind [the students] that our country is founded on faith and that's what will keep us strong — and that's what will keep our country blessed. These students need to experience what it's like to pray for our country, represent our country and have a voice for our country and our God."

Setting the standard

As Billy Graham comes closer to his 100 birthday, 5th and 6th grade Bible teacher Andrea Black pointed out the timely nature of the BGEA event in getting students better acquainted with the acclaimed evangelist’s — and the significance of his ministry over the decades throughout the world.

"I have talked about Billy Graham in class, and I explain to the students that he has lived an uncompromised life of ministry," Black shared. "When someone can live that long and not compromise, we should listen to what he has to say. And now, to see his son here carrying on that legacy is a wonderful thing."

Black sees Billy and Franklin Graham as role models for Christian youth —and she longs for her students to become more than modern-day Daniels — she wants them to become champions of faithfulness and Christian beacons for posterity.

"I want them to understand [that] their parents have put them in a Christian school because it's important to them," Black impressed. "It's up to them to carry on that legacy to the next generation."


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