Joy—and Crowd—Overflows in Hyderabad

By   •   November 13, 2011

Local pastors and believers from across the area prayed it would happen and finally, on Sunday night, it did. Every seat, nook and bleacher at Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad, India, was filled with people attending the cricket venue’s first-ever Christian event.

So many hungry souls came to hear Franklin Graham preach the Gospel that a few thousand spilled into the surrounding parking lot, bringing attendance at the Hyderabad Festival on Sunday alone to more than 73,000.

Add that figure to the combined attendance from the first three days of 172,000 and you can see why Hyderabad’s pastors are so excited.

“My heart is overflowing with joy tonight,” said Bishop Ernest Komanapalli, the Festival’s general chairman, as he looked out from the stage at a field full of new Christians, some 2,500 strong “The Lord has answered our prayers. Everyone is jubilant tonight.”

Rev. Christy Rajender added his voice to the chorus of praise: “All that we have worked for over the last year, and all that we have prayed for, the Lord has answered. The churches had good teamwork and because of the unity, the Lord poured out His Spirit on this Festival.”

He expressed gratitude for each of the Festival’s committee members and for all the prayers sent to heaven from a Body on its knees. “This shows that if churches in India stay together, God will use us to reach our countrymen. As I look at the thousands here, there is no greater joy.”

Rajender added, “Franklin Graham has sown many seeds. Now the churches will water them.”

Chad Hammond, the BGEA Festival Director in Hyderabad, said he is thankful for how God met the team at each turn. “We saw God’s protection and His provision in every detail and, in spite of opposition and spiritual warfare, the Lord triumphed.”

The response to the Gospel on all four nights was more than even he dared to imagine. “This Festival is a testimony to prayer and each person who accepted Christ is a miracle.”

An additional 19,100 in Guntur, India, viewed tonight’s service by satellite; more than 1,500 made commitments there.

OTHER STORIES FROM HYDERABAD:

God Can Use a Broken Vessel

His first music teacher told him to quit after one lesson. Then 15, Benny Prasad just couldn’t carry a tune or keep rhythm. Now he has performed instrumental guitar in 250 countries, before kings, at the Olympics, and before the United Nations. On Saturday night, he gave his moving testimony and played a guitar solo at the Hyderabad Festival with Franklin Graham. Learn more about his story and the role Tommy Coomes played in his journey.
Read the story »

India Sees Swell of Souls

On Saturday night in Hyderabad, scores of people—young and old—responded to Franklin Graham’s impassioned message from Luke 15:11-32. Close to 59,000 people flooded Lal Bahadur Stadium for music and a Word for their souls. An additional 11,230 viewed by satellite in Guntur.
Read the story »

“Take a Stand for Jesus Christ”

Jayesh joked that he found himself “at the wrong place at the right time” Friday night in Hyderabad. Having just returned to India after attending college in the United States, the 22-year-old hadn’t planned to attend the Franklin Graham Festival. He would have preferred to go out drinking. But a persistent brother who attended the Christian Life and Witness Course (CLWC) offered by his church was determined to drag Jayesh to hear the Gospel.
Read the story »

The Spirit of God Descends on India

“The whole stadium is filled with the spirit of God—you can feel God in this place.” As the Rev. Mohan Babu welcomed the crowd to the first night of the Hyderabad Festival with Franklin Graham, the pastor’s words proved to be prophetic. The Holy Spirit stirred the hearts of 1,240 who responded to the Gospel message at the end of the evening.
Read the story »

Hyderabad Pastors Welcome Franklin Graham

At the invitation of 1,800 area churches, Franklin Graham arrived in Hyderabad this week to proclaim the Gospel and to share God’s love with the people of India. 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.”
Read the story »

Hope for Hyderabad

In an ancient city with roots dating to the Iron Age, it is the youth who are taking charge of the future—one they hope will include Jesus Christ. Founded in 1591, Hyderabad, India, blends tradition and technology like few other places. Just outside of town, you can visit a 13th Century fort built by Hindu Kakatiya kings that later served as a fortress for powerful Muslim sultanates.
Read the story »

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16 Comments

  1. pat says:

    Any Christian needing refreshing, encouragement and strength in the Lord need only to read some of these reports of the BGEA Festival in India. Pray for those who heard but didn't commit. Let the message they heard resonate in their hearts.

  2. samuel says:

    Hyderabad festival is a good opportunity for the people of non christian background at the same time life changing to Christians.

  3. Christy says:

    Praise The Lord

  4. Sarah Augustin says:

    I was crossed fingers on Franklin Grahams visit to Hyderabad Can he reach the public etc were in my mind. But on the very first day whether Franklin Graham reached the public or not his message touched me. That day's ( day 1) message was really clear, point to point (i.e without any tell tale stories) from II Kings 21: 1- about Manasseh i.e how human race rebel against God is really marvelous. No words to applaud him. Of course, I was present all the days. May God continue to use Br. Franklin Graham mightily. WE WELCOME FRANKLIN GRAHAM AGAIN TO HYDERABAD. Sarah Augustin

  5. vijay says:

    You really rocked…. it's great to be one of the counselors….and Franklin Graham msg. was awesome everyone can understand it easily… he studied Hyderabad lives and conditions a lot

  6. Stella says:

    It was just awesome…the presence of God was so clear …even though the message was short but was effective enough to pull up people from within their religious and cultural barriers…God bless you Br. Franklin even as you carry forward the task.

  7. Joseph royal says:

    We as family experienced the presence of God all through the event. Many I believe had life transforming experiences. Thank and Praise God for using Franklin Graham. Many thanks to the organizing committee. We are praying for follow up.

  8. Rajesh says:

    Franklin is crystal clear in his views about the salvation and how salvation only comes from Jesus Christ. He is very humble, genuine and sincere before God and always glorified only God. Blessing and Thanks to all the police is awesome.

  9. chonie says:

    Truly God touches hearts to those people hungry for word for God to sustain living with purpose with him. I truly understand why some challenges do happened in order for us to realize that life is Good and Full of Hope and Peace. God bless !

  10. deepthi says:

    the Hyderabad festival is just awesome..God saved many souls thru Franklin Graham..the crowd was overflowing…..whole Hyderabad enjoyed the fest..very powerful messages given by brother Graham..it was so exciting to see lots of Christians all together worshiping god in Hyderabad..