Meeting with reporters this morning and key Christian leaders this afternoon, Franklin Graham said he did not come to India to promote a religion. “I am here out of obedience to God—to promote a relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son.”
Graham emphasized that everyone is invited to come:”This is an event put on by the churches here. There will be great music all four nights—it is a festival atmosphere. We just want people to know about God’s love.”
Churches from across the greater Hyderabad area have worked together for the last year to bring the Hyderabad Festival with Franklin Graham to their city this weekend.
“The Franklin Graham Festival is one of the most exciting things to happen in Hyderabad,” said Rev. Christy Rajender, who is serving as the Youth and Volunteers Committee Chairman. He explained that youth in Hyderabad are interested in “friends, food, fashion, fun and family. But they don’t know the true happiness that comes from a relationship with Jesus.
“This is an opportunity to give our young people hope and help in facing challenges,” Rev. Christy added. “We want everyone to overcome darkness and see the light of God. Franklin Graham has come at the right time.”
Rev. Mohan Babu, one of the Festival’s Vice Chairmen, expressed his great regard for the Rev. Billy Graham. “And it is only right that his son Franklin should be here to carry on the work of the Gospel. He has brought harmony to our churches and helped us to see that a nation like India can rise to its feet by praying, giving and working together. This Festival has given our churches a real sense of ownership.”
The Executive General Chairman of the Festival, Rev. G. Samuel, said he is praying that the stadium will be filled with people who will hear the Good News this weekend. “Getting churches to work together hasn’t been easy,” he added, “but now you see Baptists and Pentecostals working together as the Body of Christ. We are believing for a great harvest.”
Bishop Ernest Komanapalli, the Festival’s General Chairman, agreed: “We have been praying and working toward this historic Gospel event for the last year. We believe God Almighty has selected Franklin Graham from his mother’s womb to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Speaking to Graham at a luncheon, Bishop Komanapalli added, “We pray that God, through the Holy Spirit, will use you to reach many. We pray the church in Hyderabad will grow this weekend.”
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