A Lasting Joy in Japan

By   •   October 22, 2010

“The fruits of the Kansai Franklin Graham Festival are ‘exceedingly more abundant’ than any of us could have imagined,” said Festival Director Chad Hammond after the three-day event concluded.

With an attendance of more than 30,000 people, it was the largest Christian event in this area since Dr. Billy Graham was here in 1980, over 30 years ago.

“The fires of revival from the Kansai Franklin Graham Festival are now burning in other cities in Japan,” Hammond said. “We hosted delegations for seven other cities. Rev. Franklin Graham met privately with these leaders to pray about a potential national Festival campaign beginning in the north and continuing all the way south through the country.”

Following the meeting with Rev. Graham, a prayer team of leaders in these cities agreed to join in prayer for this possible event and the revival it could bring to Japan.

“The results of this Festival have met our goals both to increase and strengthen the Christian community in Japan, but also bring encouragement and hope to the local church leaders,” Hammond added. “We are thankful to our God for how faithfully He responded to our prayers.”

Sunday Night

Praise God for a great harvest of souls in Japan! The Kansai Franklin Graham Festival concluded tonight with 400 additional commitments to Christ, bringing the total to 1,765 over three days. Total attendance was 30,782.

For Megumi Hioki of Tokyo, the night was extra special. She has been praying for her unsaved aunt for years. Traveling an entire night by bus to bring her to the Festival, Hioki wasn’t sure if her aunt would venture out of the house because of health problems.

But after a doctor told the aunt she needed to get out more, she agreed to come with Hioki. “And tonight my aunt accepted the Lord!” she share excitedly. “Although I have to leave for another long bus ride to Tokyo, it was worth it.”

Saturday, Oct. 23

“This is God’s time for Japan,” Franklin Graham said at the conclusion of this evening’s service in Osaka. One of the largest crowds to attend a Christian event in the city’s history would agree.

The second day of the Kansai Franklin Graham Festival ushered in almost a thousand new citizens of heaven. More than 5,000 children giggled, jumped for joy, and learned about Jesus this morning at the children’s service; 672 gave their young hearts to Him. Read more here »

Tonight, almost 8,500 packed Osaka Jo Arena to hear Franklin Graham proclaim the Gospel, using the story of the prodigal son to illustrate the need for salvation. When Franklin invited people to come forward, 396 took that brave step to accept Christ for the first time or to rededicate their lives to Him.

Before hearing Franklin speak, the audience soaked in an amazing few hours of Gospel music and praise from Alfie Silas, the Tommy Coomes Band and a variety of talented musicians from the Kansai region. Hanshin Tigers record-breaking hitter Matt Murton elicited a round of cheers as he took the stage to share his love for Jesus.



Konnichiwa from Osaka, Japan! The BGEA communications team is hard at work this weekend, creating videos, interviewing key people and shooting photos to tell the story of the Kansai Franklin Graham Festival. We want to take you behind the scenes of this beautiful city and introduce to people who passionately love the Lord and their nation. Please stop back over the next several days for updated coverage.

The Kansai Festival Committee, comprised of pastors from the greater Kansai region, has labored diligently for close to two years and crave your prayers for a great harvest of souls.

As I write, the harvest has already begun. It’s Saturday morning in Osaka—yes, that is 13 hours ahead of the U.S. eastern time zone. On Friday morning, 3,217 women (and men) gathered for a Ladies Service; 115 people made commitment to Christ. Read more here »

Last night, 4,240 listened to Franklin Graham deliver a strong Gospel message that moved 182 people to commit or recommit their lives to Jesus.

Today, a Kid’s Festival is about to get underway, businessmen will gather in the afternoon for an inspirational banquet, and Franklin Graham will once more preach at Osaka Jo Hall tonight. Join us in praying that many people will hear and receive Christ as their Savior.



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  1. Jack says:

    Announced at the festival, 600 local churches participated. It was a great experience for all. I think that the next time, we could double the number of local participating churches as many (over a 1000 churches) were reluctant to pitch in. Keep in mind that most churches are small.

  2. Steve Gray says:

    Praise the Lord for answered prayers. I wonder if someone could discuss the Bible-based churches that are available to Japanese people that are saved to attend as new Christians. That would be of interest.