Family of God Grows in Guam

By Ron Nickel and Thomas Petrino   •   February 23, 2020

An estimated 5,500 people showed up for the Guåhan Festival of Hope on Sunday in Guam. During the event, Franklin Graham shared a message of God’s love and people worshipped along with musical artists Michael W. Smith, Dennis Agajanian and others.
The free evangelistic event came just two days after Franklin Graham preached in Saipan, where hundreds accepted an invitation to receive Christ. Guamanian believers were praying for the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work on their island, as well.
Many attendees popped up personal umbrellas to find shade from the 85-degree day before the start of Sunday’s event.
Guam, a United States territory in Micronesia, holds the slogan "Where America's Day Begins" because of its position to the International Date Line.
“Do you know that this is a day of new beginnings?” Margarita Wahiman, a worship leader from the Philippines, asked the crowd before opening the Festival in song. “He is matchless. He’s endless. His love unrestrained. He’s a big God. In His bigness, He still manages to call us His own and be so personal with us.”
Dennis Agajanian took a break from some serious guitar strumming to address the crowd, “Always know that Jesus Christ is a greater Savior than you are a sinner.”
Volunteers carefully placed 3,000 chairs across the Guam Football Association National Training Center the day before the Festival. Coasters or wooden blocks were added under the legs of the chairs to keep from poking holes in the well-manicured field. These seats were filled within almost 90 minutes of the gates opening on Sunday.
Guamanian believers have long been passionate about sharing the Gospel with their neighbors. Several years ago Christians on the island participated in a nationwide effort called My Hope, using video programs produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to start conversations about the Good News.
“Someone in this place needs a miracle tonight,” Michael W. Smith said and was met with a very clear “Yes” from the crowd. One man chimed in, “More than one.”
The music and message reminded those listening that even though they live in the middle of the ocean, they’re not alone. God sees them, knows them and loves them.
“First of all, I want you to know that God loves you. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this—God loves you,” Franklin Graham greeted the expansive crowd before sharing a message from John 3.
While the evangelist preached in English, volunteer counselors were available in multiple languages so those accepting Christ could do so in their native language.
Guam has personal significance for two members of the Tommy Coomes Band—Tommy Coomes himself and singer Marsha Skidmore. Their fathers served in the United States military and were wounded during a World War II battle here. Marsha calls Guam “spiritual home base” for her family. She remembers her father’s story of pleading with God to save him. God did, and her father served the Lord for decades up until his death.
When given the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, more than 600 people streamed forward to respond.
The joy of the Lord was written on the faces of those who found new life in Him on Sunday.
Trained volunteers talked and prayed with every person who walked forward to respond to the Gospel invitation.
In the coming days, local churches will connect with new believers and help them grow in Christ.
Thank you for praying for this weekend's Festivals in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”—Ephesians 3:20-21