Evangelist Franklin Graham visited Myanmar and spoke at the Love Joy Peace Festival, held from Nov. 18 to 20, which drew a crowd of more than 50,000 people at the Myanmar Convention Center in Yangon.
Many of those who attended the event have not heard the gospel before.
The three-day event attests to the power of prayer: more than 400 churches came together to pray for its success and to commit themselves to invite people to the festival, and God answered them with the unprecedented crowd turnout, filling even the overflow rooms to capacity and leaving others to sit outside the property, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
On the first day of the festival, an estimated 46,000 people came to hear the preaching of God’s word, and more than 2,500 people decided to surrender their lives to Jesus at the end of the day.
On the second day, 52,000 people attended the festival, greatly exceeding the first day’s turnout. Graham shared about the parable of the prodigal son, who left his father and his home to pursue his desires, only to realize the folly of his decision.
The son decided to go home but was unsure if his father would accept him, but the father welcomed him and forgave him: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’” (Luke 15:20-21).
Graham used the story to invite people to “come home” in repentance to God, and more than 2,400 people responded and came forward.
“This is a wonderful picture of our Heavenly Father loving and welcoming us when we turn to Him in repentance,” Graham said on Facebook. “I am so thankful that thousands of men, women, and young people in Myanmar have responded to the invitation to ‘come home’ and trust Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of their lives.”
Trained volunteers were at the festival to counsel people who came forward and to talk to them about their newfound faith in Christ.
According to testimonies, there were some people who said they had never entered a church building before. Others said they were familiar with the gospel but had never responded until that day at the festival.
“I thank God for working and give Him the glory. We know there was great celebrating in Heaven over each one!” Graham said.
Aside from speaking at the festival, Graham also visited the Hebron Brethren Assembly, a church pastored by Tin Maung Tun, where Graham shared to hundreds of children the message about God’s greatest gift—the gift of his Son, Jesus. Some of the children were from an orphanage for HIV-positive kids.
Graham then distributed to them shoeboxes filled with gifts, which were from Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child. Each box had a copy of a Gospel picture book.
Watch the video and see the children’s precious reactions as they received their gifts.