In a lot of ways, expectations for the Festival De Esperanza in Los Angeles are hard to fully grasp.
The Franklin Graham Festival on June 25-26 will be the first of its kind: A two-day Hispanic-focused event held inside the United States.
But if the FM419 conference is any indicator, God is already moving in the Los Angeles area and the excitement is becoming palpable.
FM419 , which stands for Follow Me and Matthew 4:19 (“I will make you fishers of men.”), is a high-octane two-day conference geared to help encourage and equip youth to share their faith as counselors for an upcoming Festival.
“It’s about a life-changing experience,” said BGEA’s John Cass, one of the FM419 leaders this past weekend. “You have kids who have never led anyone to Christ and we’re doing that in a personal, practical way.”
And not only that, but of the approximately 300 Hispanic students who came to the Los Angeles FM419 event, about 30 percent made decisions to accept Christ as their Savior.
“It’s exciting when kids finally get it, when the light bulb goes on,” Cass said. “I’m always encouraged looking at the faces of the young people when they finally get it. They’re looking for someone to invest in their lives.”
The countdown to Festival De Esperanza is down to 37 days and kicking off the event is Festikids, a children’s festival on May 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Centro Evangelistico Ebenezer in Bell, Calif.
There will also be two “Night of Worship” concerts leading up to the Festival, on May 21 at Tabernaculo Bautista and May 29 at Harbor Christian Center.
The dates that have the most focus is June 25 and 26, when Franklin Graham will bring the Good News of the Gospel to the Home Depot Center, a 27,000-seat soccer-specific stadium located 10 miles south of Los Angeles in Carson, Calif.
“With the Festival coming up, they have a neutral site to invite their friends,” Cass said. “It reinforces what they’re doing and the kids go out and they do this.”
The musical lineup for both Festival nights includes: Dennis Agajanian and Gutiierrez Brothers, Lilly Goodman and the Tommy Coomes Band.
Daniel Calveti headlines Saturday night’s event, which begins at 7 p.m., while Israel Houghton and New Breed headlines Sunday evening’s Festival, which starts at 5 p.m.
A second Festikids will take place on June 25 at The Home Depot Center.