The Will Graham Celebration of Peace began in Kisumu, Kenya on Friday with hundreds responding to Will Graham’s invitation to make a decision for Christ.
Crowds packed in at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to hear the life-changing Gospel message of Jesus from Will Graham, the grandson of Billy Graham.
Some first-day highlights:
Will Graham’s Message
Will Graham was first asked to preach in Kisumu while he was in Nakura, Kenya, sharing the Gospel in 2011.
“The only thing that can change Kisumu forever… is God,” Will said Friday, more than 53 years after his grandfather, Billy Graham, preached in Kisumu in March of 1960.
Much like his grandfather preached over the years, Will Graham talked to the crowd about God’s love for us, even though our sin is worthy of punishment. “When we sin, we deserve punishment,” Will said. “Yet, God sent His son Jesus to take the punishment for you and me.”
Just In Time
The Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground is like a thoroughfare in Kisumu, making it an ideal spot for preaching the Gospel. Many scurry across the field as a shortcut on their way home, or to visit the local shops set up just outside the venue.
Like others, Judy was a passerby on Friday. She didn’t hear Will Graham’s message, but knew something special was going on. So Judy walked down and asked a counselor, “Is it over?” Lilenn responded, “yes” but that it wasn’t too late for her to receive what others were receiving that night.
Judy then accepted Christ, and promised to return Saturday with a friend.
An Unexpected Decision
Although Kisumu’s Gov. Jack Ranguma had other officials in town to meet with him, he spent much of the morning with Will Graham and the Celebration committee.
Before Will took the stage, Ranguma asked for prayer for Kisumu and that hearts would be open to God’s word. Little did the governor know, that prayer would strike his wife. When Will asked people to come forward to give their life to Christ, Olivia Rangumu stepped out to rededicate her life to the Lord.
300 Churches Band Together
There has been overwhelming support and excitement among religious leaders in Kisumu leading up to the Will Graham Celebration of Peace. “The one thing that has stood out about Kisumu is that they have 300 churches and 80 bishops. All of them (every church and every bishop) are participating in this,” explained Celebration Director Solomon Bodhan.
2 Boys Find Jesus
Because of the location of the sports ground, there’s also opportunity for bad behavior. Two boys – probably not even teenagers – were spotted on the field earlier in the week as workers began setting up for the Celebration. Samaritan’s Purse and BGEA staff talked with one of the boys.
He was articulate and smart, but said he quit school because of problems at home and now spends his days in the street.
He and his friend often dance and clown around at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground – including Friday, the first night of the Will Graham Celebration. After the event, evangelist Robert Cunville – who will preach at a women’s event during the Celebration – had great news.
“They gave their life to Christ and said they’re coming to the youth program tomorrow,” he said.