Take a boat ride across Lake Erie—from Detroit, Michigan, or Buffalo, New York—and you’ll land in London, Ontario.
Since this Canadian city sits so close to the border, it’d be natural to assume the spiritual climate is similar to the United States’.
But local believers know otherwise.
“Canada is more European than American when it comes to spirituality,” explained Canadian resident Mark Miller, who’s also the director of this weekend’s Greater London Celebration with Will Graham.
Unlike certain regions of the United States, few people are “culturally Christian,” Miller explained. Instead, they’re either all in for Christ or reject Him completely.
Which is one reason why the first night of Will Graham’s evangelistic outreach in this city excited and encouraged believers. On Friday, more than 170 people made decisions for Christ after a Gospel presentation specifically designed for kids.
“That could be a whole church,” said Miller, adding that congregations of that size are more common than megachurches in the region.
And Saturday’s event in London felt like a church service in many ways.
>>See photos from the Friday and Saturday events in London, Ontario.
There was music.
Two of Canada’s own—Toronto worship leader Brooke Nicholls and Nova Scotia country star George Canyon—led the crowd in singing God’s praises. Joining them was U.S. band The Afters, who often come across the border with Will Graham for evangelistic events.
There was a sermon.
For his second message in London, Will Graham told the story of Pontius Pilate—a powerful Roman official who respected Jesus, but ultimately rejected Him.
“He lacked the courage to take a stand for Christ, and some of you here tonight lack the courage to stand for Jesus,” the evangelist said, transitioning the focus of his message to the hundreds listening.
But unlike Pilot, that doesn’t have to be the end of their stories.
“This is your chance to have a new start in life, but you’ve got to be willing to come,” Graham explained. “Do not leave here not knowing where you’re going to spend eternity.”
There was a response.
In the toughest moments of 24-year-old Langa’s life, she’s felt compelled to pray.
A miscarriage. A period of severe depression. A recent breakup.
Many of those times, she wasn’t walking with God. Even though her parents are believers, Langa has been an atheist since high school. But whenever life got hard, she always found herself looking to God for help.
Saturday night, she felt compelled to pray again and commit her life to Jesus Christ once and for all.
“I didn’t think I would feel different, but I do. I feel a sense of peace and joy,” explained Langa, who moved to Canada from Zimbabwe in 2001.
She still has many friends who are atheists and “go out of their way to disprove God.”
But walking forward to publicly take a stand for Christ filled her with courage to talk more about her growing faith.
“I’ve been scared to tell my friends that I believe in God, but I don’t feel afraid anymore.”
Will you pray for Langa—and the other Canadians who’ve committed to Christ this weekend?