A Breath of Restoration Blew on the Venezuelan Plains 

By   •   December 2, 2022

San Fernando de Apure was filled with joy when 46,500 people listened to the preaching of the Good News.

In the city of San Fernando de Apure, mass events are quite unusual. Located at the center of the plains of Venezuela, most of its peaceful inhabitants are farmers.

However, both those who live in the hectic cities and those who live in the quiet plains suffer the consequences of living in a fallen world and have the same need to be reconciled with God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

On the weekend of November 18–20, 46,500 people—one-sixth of the city’s total population—heard the clear proclamation of a message of life and hope at the Festival de la Familia held at the Polideportivo stadium in San Fernando de Apure. 

Attendees enjoyed the three-day Festival, and a total of 7,951 reported having surrendered their lives at the feet of Christ.

“Never in all my life had I experienced something like this in Apure,” commented Marcos,* one of the young people who participated in the event, with a huge smile on his face. “This Festival marked the beginning of revival in my land.”

A total of 337 churches from various denominations joined forces with the Evangelical Council of Venezuela and invited David Ruíz, associate evangelist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, along with pastors Hugo Sánchez from Uruguay and Elías Betanzos from Mexico, to lead the preaching of the Gospel.

>>Do you know the Gospel that Jesus preached?

Even the Native Churches of Apure, one of the oldest denominations in the region that traditionally have not participated in multidenominational events, joined forces to reach their community with the message of salvation, filling with joy the hearts of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Joyful worship and praise music prepared hearts to receive the Good News. Bands Israel García from Mexico, Pescao Vivo from Colombia, Jahaziel Band from Venezuela, and Samuel Lima from Brazil made the thousands who attended the event jump for joy.

“As never before, the Evangelical Council is honored to serve as a platform for the Festival de la Familia alongside the churches of the state of Apure,” commented Pastor César Mermejo, President of the Evangelical Council of Venezuela.


Within the framework of the celebration of the Festival de la Familia, more than 18,000 children enjoyed FestiKids, an event designed specifically for the youngest generation with vibrant choreographies and a musical called “Jesus to the Rescue,” which presents the Gospel starting from the book of Genesis. 

Hundreds of volunteers made FestiKids possible. Their hours of practice and hard work payed off when the children heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.

Mesmerized children watched the musical and choreographies that God used to attract their little hearts. 

A total of 5,696 children who indicated that they prayed to receive Christ into their hearts came forward and volunteers prayed with them.

From the Street to the Arms of Christ

Leilani, one of the volunteers, noticed that a little boy had raised his hand to indicate that he had prayed to accept Christ, but he was standing at the edge, afraid to come closer. As she walked toward him, she noticed that his clothes were worn and dirty. 

“So I approached him and started talking to him,” Leilani commented. “He told me that he didn’t have a mom or dad. He is a kid who spends most of the time in the streets and who, upon hearing the praise music and noticing the activity, entered the stadium. 

“I told him that if God allowed him to be there, it was to show him a better future. And I invited him to spend more time in the church closest to the area where he lives, which is Iglesia Dios con Nosotros.” 

This little one received the message of salvation. Join us in praying that the seed planted in his heart will bear fruit and that he will continue to attend his new local church.

Leilani was able to testify how the boy’s face changed as he received the love of Christ and physically felt the love of His church.

“Seeing that he was taken into account, feeling other believers praying for him and hugging him, I could see in his face the joy for all that he received tonight.”

David Ruiz, associate evangelist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, passionately shared the Gospel in Venezuela.

‘Something in Me Changed!’

The Sunday after the Festival, Nohelia went to her church as usual. However, she found that nearly 100 new people were present at the service. They were some of those who had received Christ a week earlier at the Festival.

The new Christians had the opportunity to share their testimonies, and Nohelia was able to hear the powerful testimony of Lorena,* a woman who came to the Festival fearful and hiding from her husband because he is of a different faith. 

“She commented that in her past she had looked for happiness in material things and parties, but never found it,” Nohelia shared. “She was touched by the Holy Spirit and surrendered to the Lord [at the Festival]. … She was worried about not knowing how she would tell her husband, but she said her life was totally changed.”

Lorena’s joy was so great that it spread among the entire congregation, who wept and praised God along with her.

“Something in me changed! I would like to tell everyone!” Lorena shared with the church. “I can testify that Jesus does transform people’s lives.”

*Names changed for privacy.