We have recently completed the eight-city, 2,000-mile Route 66 God Loves You Tour, and tens of thousands heard the Gospel—including many across the nation who watched one of the online livestreams. The Lord answered prayers in a powerful way, and many people came to faith in Jesus Christ.
For more than a year, the pandemic kept us from gathering in large crowds to preach the Gospel. With so much fear, confusion and uncertainty in the world, people everywhere desperately need hope. They need to know that God loves them and that they can find the true hope, security and peace that comes only through putting their faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
We are grateful that the Lord opened the doors for us to proclaim the Good News along “America’s Main Street.” The tour kicked off at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, with more than 8,700 in attendance—despite the 90-degree weather. By the end of that evening, more than 350 people told us they made a decision for Jesus Christ.
Over 4,000 joined us at the World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis for the second stop, and I preached about Naaman, out of 2 Kings. Just as he, a leper, was able to find healing, I urged those in attendance to find spiritual healing and forgiveness for their sins through the blood of Christ.
We praise God for the many people who stood to repent of their sins and come to Christ for complete redemption. One 20-year-old woman in the crowd was dealing with the heartache of a recent miscarriage. When she heard the Gospel, she knew she needed the Lord and decided to follow Jesus Christ.
Helen,* a prayer volunteer, encouraged her that now, as she grieves her loss, she can find strength in the Lord, who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3, NKJV).
‘I’m Tired of Carrying It’
The next stop was Springfield, Missouri, known as the Queen City of the Ozarks. I told the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 to the almost 9,000 people in attendance. I challenged the listeners that even if they had been running, they could come back to their heavenly Father.
It was exactly what Diego,* a resident in a recovery program for homeless or impoverished men, needed to hear. When I gave the invitation to respond to God, Diego stood up to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.
“I’ve got some bad things I’ve done in the past, and I’m tired of carrying it,” he said. “I just want to live for Him.”
Praise God for the peace only He can give.
Our fourth destination was Oklahoma City, known for its diverse heritage—a combination of Western and Native American culture. Over 4,000 people gathered, including Jose* and Celia,* who came to the event after seeing an ad on Facebook.
Celia grew up in a village in Mexico, and she was worlds away from home. She said she was so excited to come to the event and felt like something big was going to happen. Following the message, both of them rose and prayed to completely surrender to Jesus Christ. With joy, Jose exclaimed, “I believe!”
‘I Want to Be Free’
In Amarillo, Texas, nearly 12,000 people—including Kathy*—came to hear a message of forgiveness and cleansing if you’re willing to come to Him in repentance and faith. Kathy held her baby and listened as I preached. Feeling ashamed from having previously chosen to have an abortion, she said, “I’ve never heard someone say that you can be forgiven from having an abortion.”
Fear from her guilt had kept her from a relationship with the Lord.
“I want to be free [of that],” she said.
She prayed to repent of her sins and recommit her life to Christ and told our counselor she hopes to share this Good News with other young women at Christian-based crisis pregnancy clinics.
During our sixth event, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, almost 700 individuals of the more than 7,000 in attendance made life-changing decisions for Christ. One of those was 30-year-old Luca,* who had experimented with various religions for years as he struggled through personal illness and the death of his parents. After praying in repentance and faith to receive Christ that night, he rejoiced that God would be present with him through all of his trials.
At our next stop, I preached the Gospel to 4,400 gathered in Flagstaff, Arizona, just 80 miles from the Grand Canyon. People in the crowd wrapped up in blankets as the temperatures dropped to the mid-40s.
More than 300 people responded to the Good News that night, including Andres,* who was broken and visibly moved. He had listened to the message through a Spanish interpreter, and he prayed to receive Christ.
When a prayer volunteer gave him our discipleship materials in Spanish to help him grow in his new faith, Andres wept with gratitude.
A Young Life Changed
The final night of the tour was in San Bernardino, California, where almost 7,000 gathered at the National Orange Show Event Center to hear the preaching of God’s Word. Mary* attended that night with her 7-year-old.
She had been clean from meth addiction for seven months after surrendering her life to Christ in a hotel room. She brought her son to the event so he could hear the Good News that turned her life around.
At the invitation—and to her joyful surprise—he wanted to receive Christ into his heart and follow Him as Lord. We praise God for touching his life—and for the thousands of others in each of the cities along Route 66 who told us they made decisions to follow Jesus Christ. To Him alone belongs the glory!
We are grateful for your partnership in this ministry. Your prayers and gifts have allowed thousands to hear the life-changing Gospel over the past several weeks.
We are looking ahead to many opportunities in the coming days to proclaim His truth.
And our Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains continue to share the comfort and hope found in Jesus Christ with those who are hurting. They recently deployed to Collierville, Tennessee, to minister in the aftermath of a grocery store shooting that killed one person and injured 14 others, including employees and customers.
Thank you for faithfully praying and giving to see the message of Jesus spread far and wide.
May He richly bless you,
* Names changed for privacy