Colombia Seeks God During Easter Weekend Festival

By   •   April 21, 2019

More than 115,000 people heard the Gospel at the three-day Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham in Cúcuta, Colombia. Of those were tens of thousands of Venezuelans and Colombians who came with the help of bus trips that picked them up at local churches.
Speaking from Luke 19, Franklin shared the story of Zacchaeus, a man who was too short to see Jesus in the massive crowd, so he climbed a tree for a better view. Similarly, several children sat atop their parents' shoulders to get a glimpse of God at work during the Festival.
Thousands made decisions for Christ at the event in Cúcuta, a city Franklin Graham spoke highly of Saturday night. "I think this may be one of the nicest cities I've ever been in," he said. "Everyone we have met has been gracious and friendly."
More than 1,600 bus trips helped people come to the multi-day Festival of Hope near the Venezuela/Colombia border.
"Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." —Luke 15:7
To kick off the night, more than 100 dancers performed, bringing energy to the stadium. Several of them moved with an explosive passion for Christ, holding nothing back.
So many were excited to hear Alex Campos, who's won three Latin Grammy Awards. While singing "Al Taller del Maestro" ("To the Workshop of the Master"), numerous cellphone lights popped up across the stadium, shining light in the evening darkness.
Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s love with others is why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association exists. “We love because he first loved us. … And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” —1 John 4:19, 21
During the Festival, cheers went out from the soccer stadium not for the performance on the field, but for the glory of God above.
Over the past few days, much of the busy border city of Cúcuta, Colombia, has slowed down in honor of Holy Week. Many shops have been closed, and there have been fewer people crossing the border to and from Venezuela. Here, a man takes a moment to focus his attention on the Lord.
Before the event, Franklin prayed alongside his granddaughter, Hannah, and longtime Latin American interpreter Galo Vasquez.
One of the many brightly-colored buses that made a trip to the Festival of Hope.
Husband and wife duo John and Anne Barbour sang a beautiful blend of English and Spanish lyrics. Their closing number "Mi Esperanza" (or "My Hope") was fitting for the Festival's name.
Each person who came forward to make a decision for Christ received a booklet about having a relationship with God. Here, a man grips his new booklet, finding a moment alone with God while in the midst of thousands of others.
Like Zacchaeus, many still face obstacles that make it difficult for them to know Jesus. In Cúcuta, people often endure uncertainty, loneliness, crime and unemployment. However, as the woman pictured here holds the sign, "Jesus mi Salvador" ("Jesus my Savior"), we can look to the Lord to get through all of life's hardships.
Earlier on Saturday, Franklin and his granddaughter handed out Operation Christmas Child boxes in a nearby church after dozens of children learned about the greatest gift of all—salvation.
Two friends stand in an elevated area to see the stage. Overhead, the sky once again threatens to downpour on the stadium, but God answered thousands of silent prayers by withholding the rain until just minutes after the Festival concluded.
"Come quickly!" Franklin Graham told the crowd, explaining that Zacchaeus may have never had another chance to meet Jesus if he hadn't taken the steps to climb a tree and see Him that day. Many chose to begin new life with Christ Easter weekend—a sweet time to celebrate His resurrection.

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After spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in Thailand, Australia and Colombia in 2019, Franklin Graham and Will Graham are committed to preach the Gospel message across the globe, including Phnom Penh, Cambodia, later this year.