Grand Canyon State Experiences Depth of God’s Love

By   •   October 1, 2021

Thursday night, thousands bundled up to attend the seventh stop of the God Loves You Tour at the Ft. Tuthill County Park Fairgrounds in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Talking about a greedy tax collector named Zacchaeus who sought after Jesus in Luke 19, Franklin Graham discussed the importance of overcoming obstacles to take a stand for Christ. "I'm here to tell you God loves you and your life is important to Him," he said.
Guitar-strumming Gospel singer Dennis Agajanian has been on every stop of the tour, and is finally nearing his home state of California while traveling Route 66. He captivated Thursday’s audience by playing an instrumental version of “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” after singing the well-loved hymn.
“I was going to take my own life so I wanted God to forgive me for that,” said 15-year-old Shaylee (middle right), who had plans to commit suicide in April. After standing during Thursday's altar call, she said, “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder.” Her new friend Abby (middle left), 16, mentioned she also tried to take her own life, but at the age of 12. “When I heard Frank talk, I realized I can be forgiven,” Abby said. All the while, Shaylee’s grandmother—who invited the girls—stood beside them beaming, seeing how God had moved in their hearts.
Flagstaff got its name after a Fourth of July flag-raising ceremony in the late 1800s. Picking a tall pine, Boston travelers trimmed its branches and hoisted a flag at the top, hence the name "Flagstaff."
“What we’re doing right here is a practice run of what we’ll do in heaven,” Spanish-speaking singer Marcos Witt said after tag teaming “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” with Newsboys and an audience-turned-choir.
Wearing jackets, hats and gloves, some attendees also wrapped themselves in blankets as temperatures dipped down to a brisk 44 degrees in the town that’s home to Arizona’s highest mountain, Mount Humphreys. “You know, Sunday, I’m going to Alaska. I think this is getting me ready for it,” Franklin Graham said right after taking the stage. “I love cold air.”
Michael Tait and Franklin Graham have a longstanding friendship, and Tait refers to Graham as his brother. Tait first traveled with Billy Graham when he was part of the band DC Talk, and he sees the Lord's divine plan in allowing him to now lead worship at events involving the late evangelist's son.
Flagstaff is located roughly an hour and a half south of the Grand Canyon, one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
Arizona was somewhat of a rough pitstop for the Newsboys, who explained that it hailed and rained on them during an attempted cookout Wednesday. Still, nothing could stop their excitement on stage.
Several people took the opportunity for a quick photo opportunity before the sky quickly grew dark. Fun fact: Pluto was actually discovered in Flagstaff's Lowell Observatory.
“Jesus Christ is not dead. He’s alive, and He’s here in Flagstaff tonight,” Franklin Graham said to a cheering crowd. “If we’re willing to confess our sins, turn, repent and by faith believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you can be forgiven tonight. You can be set free from your sins. God will forgive you and cleanse you.” Do you desire God's forgiveness? Accept it now.
Many attendees donned their free God Loves You Tour T-shirt after picking one up from this booth.
One woman danced to Newsboys' song, "Magnetic," which talks about the unstoppable love of Christ.
Arizona gets its nickname from hosting one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, which goes a mile deep at some points.
“My dad would always say, ‘Son, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.’ And guys, today’s world is cray cray," said Michael Tait, lead singer of Newsboys.
Every person who made a decision for Christ was encouraged to stand to receive a "Living in Christ" booklet, which includes the gospel of John. Trained counselors followed up with those who stood, and were eager to answer their questions, help them plug into a local church and offer prayer for their new commitment.
Franklin Graham closed the evening with this prayer: “I pray for each one that has stood tonight. Father, I pray that You’ll guide and direct them through life. Help them get involved in a good church, help them to grow and know you in a much deeper way. Father, we thank You that You love us.”
There’s only one stop left on the eight-city God Loves You Tour, and it's in San Bernardino, California. Grab a friend and watch the livestream at 7 p.m. PDT / 10 p.m. EDT. Will you keep praying for those who have decided to follow Christ on the tour—and that God would prepare people's hearts in San Bernardino?