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When Daniel Calveti was just 6 months old, his parents made a promise to God. Their baby boy was deathly ill with bacterial meningitis, and some neighbors had been talking with them about Jesus.
"They prayed and they said, 'Jesus, we don't know how to walk with You, but if You heal Daniel, we promise You we're going to dedicate Daniel to Your service, and we're going to give You all of our family in service," Calveti explained in a recent interview with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
A few weeks after his parents' desperate prayer, they got the worst news imaginable: Their little boy had died.
His body was wrapped in a white sheet and taken to the hospital morgue. But then something amazing happened.
"I was dead for eight hours," Calveti said. "And after eight hours, God touched my body."
The terrified cleaning crew noticed little arms and legs moving under the sheet.
"And the doctor, he was so scared—they called my parents again telling them, 'Hey, I don't know what happened, but Daniel, he's back to life ... and we cannot find any meningitis in his body. He's healed."
Calveti's parents considered it a miracle from God, and they kept their promise. They dedicated their lives—and their son's life—to serving Christ.
After selling their businesses and leaving their home in Venezuela, the family eventually settled in Puerto Rico, where Calveti lived for 22 years and where his parents are still serving the Lord through their church, Fruto de la Vid (Fruit of the Vine).
"My heart is very connected with Puerto Rico," Calveti said. "My wife is from Puerto Rico. My children are from Puerto Rico."
Calveti recently moved his family to Dallas, Texas, but he's planning to take them to San Juan this week for the Festival de Esperanza (Festival of Hope) with Franklin Graham in Puerto Rico. Calveti is one of several musicians taking part in the Festival, which is aimed at sharing the hope of Christ with people across the island.
"Oh, I'm so excited," Calveti said. "This is prayer answered for Puerto Rico."
The island is about 100 miles long and 35 miles wide, with 3.5 million people calling it home. Calveti said many Puerto Ricans consider themselves Christians but have fallen away from the faith. The upcoming Festival has already helped unite believers around a common goal: reaching their neighbors with the hope of the gospel.
"Christian radio stations in Puerto Rico, the churches, all the pastors from different denominations—they are working together, and that's not very common in Puerto Rico, so I'm glad to see that unity," Calveti said.
The Festival will be Calveti's fourth event with BGEA. He led worship at Franklin Graham Festivals in Los Angeles, California (2011); La Paz, Bolivia (2013); and El Paso, Texas (2014).
"Every time, it was such a blessing for me and for our band," Calveti said. "And my favorite part of the Festival is when they do the altar call to receive Jesus."
Next weekend, he'll have the chance to share that moment with his entire family—including his wife, Shari, his three children and his parents, who are still living out the promise they made almost four decades ago.
Calveti believes Jesus saved him that day in the depths of the hospital. And he believes Jesus is still saving people today, including those who are spiritually dead.
"Let me tell you, right now in the world, they're trying to put away mentioning the name of Jesus," Calveti said. "So to me, what gives credibility to Franklin Graham's ministry is that he's always preaching about Jesus.
"That's what we need right now, and that's why I'm very excited, because in Puerto Rico, everybody's going to hear the name of Jesus as a Savior, as a healer, and that gets me excited."
© 2017 BGEA
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