Evangelist Will Graham, grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, returned to the Philippines in March to preach to audiences totaling 74,630 across two cities in the Visayas area of the country, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
In a media update, BGEA says The Greater Tacloban Celebration of Life took place March 21-22 in the city that is best known for being “Ground Zero” for the devastating and deadly Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. Thousands were killed, and the city is only now beginning to recover.
According to the BGEA, a total of 14,630 attended the two-day event, and 2,678 – nearly 20 percent of those in attendance – came forward at the invitation. More than 8,000 responded to the Gospel message and began a new relationship with Jesus during the Cebu Celebration of Life.
“Your city looks like it’s being rebuilt, but in your heart you’re struggling. God wants to come into your life tonight and make you whole,” said Graham. “God wants to give you joy, purpose and peace. Despite your circumstances, God wants to work in your life tonight.”
The BGEA says among those who responded was a security guard who saw the banner outside and entered on his own. “He just felt led here, went inside, and listened to the preaching of Will Graham,” marveled Pastor Gamaliel Aliposa, whose church member counseled the man. “After that he came forward and surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Simple as that!”
From there, Graham continued on to the “Queen City of the South,” Cebu, where he preached to 60,307 over three days at the Cebu Celebration of Life, March 27-29.
“How does an imperfect person have a relationship with a perfect God?” Graham asked the audience. “There’s nothing we can do to save ourselves. Jesus came and took our place.”
He continued, “It doesn’t matter if you’re Filipino or American. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young. Every person has to answer this question. What will you do with Jesus?”
“It was almost like a magnet when the invitation was given,” said Pastor Jo Alfafara. “It was like a slingshot and people couldn’t wait to get out of their seats and they all just rushed forward. No hesitancy at all. It was like a flood of people running forward towards the stage.”
BGEA stated that the events in Tacloban and Cebu were Graham’s second and third outreaches in the country. His first took place in 2011, when he held a four-day event in Bicol. Just prior to this trip, Graham visited China and preached the Gospel in two cities, including Huai’an, where his great-grandfather was a medical missionary and where his grandmother, Ruth Bell Graham, was born.
Graham’s next event will be the Ohio Valley Will Graham Celebration in Owensboro, Kentucky, in April.
SOURCE: Assist News – Michael Ireland