‘There’s Room for You,’ Franklin Graham Tells Thousands Responding to Christ in Cúcuta

By   •   April 20, 2019

General Santander Stadium in Cúcuta, Colombia, was at capacity Friday for the first night of the Festival of Hope (Festival de Esperanza) with Franklin Graham. As 40,000-plus people crowded into the venue, several thousand more found seats in a nearby overflow area and watched the event on a screen. An estimated 52,000 people were part of the much-anticipated occasion, with another 2,300 watching online.
This Easter Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Friday night, Franklin Graham shared with the audience why Christ rising from the dead makes all the difference in the world.
"Why would God do that?" Franklin asked. Why would He die for us in the first place? Because each soul is "precious" to Him, he said. "Your soul is more valuable than all of Colombia. That's why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ." Sin blocks us from a relationship with a holy God, Franklin explained, so God took the price of sin upon Himself, bridging the gap between us and Him.
Toto Hernandez Coliseum, a basketball court right by General Santander Stadium, provided overflow space for all those who couldn't fit in the main venue.
Locals in Cúcuta have been telling people about the Festival for months. This pastor, who also works as a mechanic, hung posters in his shop.
After coming forward at Franklin's invitation to receive Christ, this man got a booklet about how to follow Jesus and couldn't put it down. As people began filing out of the stadium, he stood captivated, eagerly reading each page.
A group from Liberty University Worship Collective sang some Christian songs in Spanish. After the Festival, several attendees asked for photos with group members.
After only a few moments onstage, Franklin asked the audience to stand and pray for the presidents of both Colombia and Venezuela. "God commands in His Word that we pray for those in leadership, so let's do that here tonight." The noise of so many voices speaking to God sounded like a waterfall as they poured forth their prayers.
Cúcuta has captured the media's attention for being a place of refuge for Venezuelans. During FestiKids on Thursday and the Festival Friday, a recurring theme was how Jesus is our ultimate rescuer and provides true freedom. Do you know someone in Venezuela who needs Christ? Share this page — Esperanzaparavenezuela.net.
Twelve-year-old Juan Sebastian is last year's winner of "The Voice Kids" in Colombia. Friday, he lent his voice to the Festival.
A father sat on the grass of the packed stadium in quiet reflection.
On Good Friday, prior to the Festival, hundreds in Cúcuta could be seen walking a major highway to visit various shrines and pay penance for their sins. The trek was in honor of Jesus' path to the cross—the via dolorosa, Latin for "painful path" or "way of suffering." That night, people at the Festival heard how Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross, in our place, because of His love for us—a message thousands responded to. "There's room for you," Franklin told them as they crammed in front of the stage. There's always room at the foot of the cross.
Liberty University students who were onstage earlier in the evening stretched their arms out over the masses who responded to Christ, praying for their new brothers and sisters.
Throughout the event space, people held their phones up high to capture the emotion of the moment—the joy, the power, the surrender to God.
So many police and emergency personnel are helping make the Festival a safe one.
These two little girls had quite a few people smiling as they worshiped in their own way.
Barak led tens of thousands in a song called "Ven Espíritu Santo" ("Come Holy Spirit"). Nearly everyone able was on their feet, from those on the ground to those in the highest stands, arms raised and singing the words with force. It was a moment that could've given anyone chills.
Dennis Agajanian's guitar playing is always well-received in Latin America.
The second and final night of the Festival of Hope was Saturday. Please pray the Good News continues to spread across this region.

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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.