God has done a great work across Australia. We asked you to pray, and it is exciting to report that tens of thousands of people came out to hear about God’s love and the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. All through that continent, we witnessed the power of the Gospel, and we thank God for transforming hearts and lives at every event, in all six cities, over the course of three weeks. To Him be the glory!
The tour started in Perth, where more than 13,000 people packed the city’s RAC Arena to hear the Gospel. When I invited people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, hundreds headed to the front to pray with our trained volunteer prayer counsellors. More than 45 percent of those who responded were people age 25 and under. Jo, one of the counsellors, said afterwards that she had wondered if one message preached in an arena could really make a difference. But when she saw the crowd of people coming forward, she began to weep for joy to see how God was using the Gospel message. She talked and prayed with three different teenage girls, all the same age as her daughter, who wanted to give their lives to Jesus Christ. “They now have the rest of their lives to live for Him,” she said. “That’s all it takes is that one simple message!”
We next went to Darwin, a smaller city in the Northern Territory just across the Timor Sea from Indonesia. It’s a tough place—very hot with swamps, crocodiles and a culture of alcohol use and abuse. Darwin’s Convention Centre arena, which seats 3,000, was jammed and extra chairs had to be brought in! The owner said they had never in their history had a crowd that large for an alcohol-free event. We praise God that 346 people came forward in response to the invitation to repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. In a radius of 200 miles around the city of Darwin, only about 2,000 people attend church. Can you imagine the impact that this number of new believers can have on the area’s churches? Pray for each new follower of Christ and for the churches as they follow up.
It is my prayer that these events will also encourage the churches to know that proclamation evangelism still works. Some younger pastors feel the Gospel is old fashioned and giving an invitation doesn’t work; but that’s not true. I don’t understand the power of the Gospel, but I know that it works. The Gospel doesn’t need help—just proclaim it. God does the rest. One news reporter asked me, “But is it relevant?” I said, “Come tonight and see.”
Overflowing in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide
On our third stop, the crowd packed the Melbourne Arena to capacity. When arena authorities wouldn’t let any more people in, Steve Grace, and Australian Christian musician who took part in our tour, went outside and performed an impromptu concert and ministered to the overflow audience.
Inside the arena, hundreds came forward at the invitation in response to the Gospel. A young man named Ray told a prayer counsellor that he had felt God calling him five years ago to give his life to Jesus Christ, but hadn’t done it. He didn’t want to waste any more years. After they prayed together, the volunteer gave Ray discipleship materials and talked with him about becoming regular in the church that had invited him to the event. Afterwards, the volunteer’s face was radiant as he looked at all the people around him praying to receive Christ. “It’s amazing,” he said. “A ripper of a night for the Kingdom of God!”
In Brisbane, thousands gathered at Riverstage, an open-air amphitheatre on the grounds of the beautiful City Botanic Gardens. The seating area filled up and many sat on blankets on the hillside to hear the music and the message. Twyla and Priscilla, two college friends, learned about the event from a pop-up ad on Facebook. They were looking for something to do and thought, why not? As they listened to the Gospel, God began to stir deep within. At the invitation, both surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Some believers in the crowd danced for joy as they watched the hundreds streaming forward to make decisions for Christ.
In Adelaide, the fifth stop, the crowd was more than Titanium Security Arena could handle. Many responded to the Gospel—including some of those who couldn’t get in and watched on a large TV screen outside. A mother named Finda had believed in God for a while and, in the last year, even started taking her boys to church. On this night, though, she felt God inviting her into a personal relationship with Him. “It was time to ask God for forgiveness,” she said later, adding with a big smile, “I feel lighter.” Her 10-year-old son also responded to the invitation to accept Christ.
The tour concluded in Sydney with two nights of music and preaching in the International Convention Centre Theatre. Sydney is hoe to people from more than 180 countries, and we saw many nationalities among the more than 15,300 people who attended the evangelistic events. Elizabeth, and Australian-born Argentinian, felt a flood of emotion when her husband—from Lebanon—and a friend both left their seats, with hundreds of others, to make decisions for Jesus Christ in response to the invitation. “It was so awesome to see so many souls come to God in one place,” Elizabeth said. “We all become part of one family.”
Many Christian believers I met in Australia had become discouraged because of the secularism they see spreading in their communities along with various threats to religious freedom. Many had just given up—why fight?
Well, first of all, we didn’t fight. I simply proclaimed the truth of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit took the Word, which the Bible says is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12, ESV), and used it to pierce people’s hearts. I encouraged the churches and pastors to stand firm, never concede and be what Jesus described as “a city set on a hill [that] cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:16). Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine…” (Matthew 5:16)
So many in Australia and around the world, including America and the UK, still need Jesus. Time is short—the Lord is returning soon. “We must work… while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4, ESV).
While I was preaching in Australia, my son Will Graham was leading a series of evangelistic events in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines. More than 1,600 area churches worked together to bring as many unsaved people as possible to hear the Gospel during that regionwide outreach, and God did a mighty work in hearts. Tens of thousands have attended, and we thank and praise God for the large number of people who responded to the Gospel, turning to Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
Easter on the Border
Pray for me as we go at Easter to a city called Cúcuta, on the Venezuelan border, in Colombia, South America. The churches there are so excited that we are coming! This is an area where many Venezuelans are seeking hope but face violence, threats and corruption—so much has changed in that part of the world. But we must continue to represent the King of kings and the Lord of lords wherever He sends us, and I will preach the Gospel truth just as I did in Australia. We will be sharing an Easter message with people there—that God loves them and sacrificed His Son for them, and that He now stands with arms wide open inviting the lost to come to Him in repentance.
We are grateful for your support. Without the prayers and financial help of friends like you, we could not do the work God has called us to do. You are generous and faithful, and I thank God for all you do as you serve Him.
May God richly bless you,
YOU CAN HELP FILL HUNGRY HEARTS WITH HOPE
God works through people like you to change the world by the power of the Gospel.
PRAY: Will you pray for new believers in Australia and the Philippines, and for the upcoming Festival of Hope in Cúcuta, Colombia?
SHARE THE GOSPEL: People look everywhere for hope. God can use your prayers and gifts to bring real and lasting hope to searching hearts as we proclaim the life-changing power of the Gospel at evangelistic Crusade events on five continents in 2019.
HELP WHERE MOST NEEDED: The Gospel changes lives—now and for eternity. When you designate a gift for “Where Most Needed”, it is available for immediate ministry opportunities and needs, including personnel, resources, materials, equipment and support services vital to carrying out our work of sharing the Gospel around the world.