Franklin Graham: Preaching the Gospel in Australia on the First Anniversary of My Father’s Homegoing

By   •   February 6, 2019

Dear Friend,

On Saturday I will begin a six-city tour preaching the Gospel in Australia.

My father preached across the continent exactly six decades ago on a marathon evangelistic tour that lasted four months. God did a mighty work. Over three million Australians attended those Crusade meetings, and it is estimated that half of Australia’s entire population heard my father share the Gospel during that time, whether they heard him in person, on TV or radio, or via telephone hook-ups in remote communities where people gathered to listen to his sermons on loudspeakers.

>> Help Spread the Good News of Jesus Christ across Australia.

When Billy Graham preached across Australia in 1959, it’s estimated that half of the country’s population heard him preach the Gospel in person or via a broadcast.

>> Read about the ripple effect of the 1959 Australia Crusade.

That historic 1959 tour began in the month of February. We have scheduled my six-city tour of Australia for the 60th anniversary, this month, which is also the first anniversary of my father’s homegoing to Heaven.

Today, less than 4 in 10 Australians call themselves Christians, and many of them do so only because of family tradition, not because of a personal saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I want to share with them the hope of the Gospel—that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth to take our sins, died on a cross, who was buried, and whom God raised again to life on the third day so that we could have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

‘God Is Already Working’ in Australia

We ask for your continued prayers for this tour. God is already working—more than 1,500 Australian churches have signed up to participate in the outreach, with more being added.

Believers have been gathering in every city on the tour to pray for the lost. Well over 10,000 people from throughout Australia have taken our Christian Life and Witness Course (CLWC). It’s a short training course on Christian discipleship and sharing Christ with others, and we praise God that people are not waiting for the tour to put what they’ve learned into practice.

In the city of Darwin, one man who completed the training told us, “It gave a renewed hope and vision for witnessing. God has opened doors, and I have since witnessed to several colleagues in a workplace where speaking about religion is frowned on.” The man plans to invite them to one of the evangelistic events.

In Perth, a pastor hosted CLWC classes well in advance of the tour. He told us that church members began praying for people in their neighborhoods who need Jesus and went right to work using their new training to share the Gospel. God blessed their efforts. One Sunday, seven people gave their lives to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith during the morning service. Their community outreach continued, and the pastor now reports that the small congregation has grown by almost a third.

People who complete the course are invited to serve during the upcoming evangelistic tour as the prayer volunteers who talk and pray one-on-one with those who respond to the message of the Gospel. A 15-year-old boy of deep faith, who has lost both his parents under difficult circumstances, was so stirred by what he learned from our course that he begged for an exception to the minimum age in order to be a prayer volunteer when we come to his city. Arrangements have been made for him to partner with an adult so he can share his faith and encourage new believers.

From India to the Philippines

During the same time that I am preaching in Australia, my son Will Graham is scheduled to lead an eight-day series of evangelistic events in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and our longtime associate evangelist Robert Cunville will be proclaiming Christ at a BGEA outreach festival in India.

It is God who works powerfully in hearts to bring spiritual harvest, and God answers prayers. Your prayer support for these upcoming evangelistic events tour can make a difference for eternity.

‘God Did a Mighty Work’ in Thailand

I recently concluded a citywide evangelistic Festival in Bangkok, Thailand, and I’m thrilled to report that God did a mighty work in that Buddhist city. In all, 42,000 people attended the Amazing Love Festival, and another 79,000 participated via live streaming on the internet. We thank and praise God for the more than 4,000 who told us they made a life-changing decision for Christ as a result of the Festival events.

Two girls talked and prayed with a prayer volunteer during the Amazing Love Festival with Franklin Graham in Bangkok last month.

>> View more photos from the Amazing Love Festival in Thailand.

The Bible says, “Salvation is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9, NASB), and we give Him all the glory. Pray for these new Thai believers and the churches discipling them.

Thousands Are Making a Decision for Christ Online

God is also touching hearts around the world through our Search for Jesus internet evangelism ministry.

During the past year, millions of individuals—from virtually every country and territory on earth—have used their smartphones or computers to explore the message of the Gospel on our Search for Jesus internet sites like PeaceWithGod.net.

We thank God that thousands every day indicate on the websites that they are making a decision for Christ. We don’t know the personal story surrounding every indicated decision, but in the past year over 300,000 people invited us to follow-up with them individually about their decision or to answer questions about the Gospel. We offer each one the opportunity for one-on-one discipleship mentored by one of our trained, online volunteers.

The internet is a tool for the Gospel to cross boundaries, reaching places in our world where sharing Christ is restricted or could be dangerous. Among the top countries we heard from last year, besides the U.S., are Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, Syria, and Nepal.

The outreach is active in four of the five languages with the most users on the internet worldwide—English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic—and we ask for your prayers as we continue developing and testing a Chinese version. Planning is also underway to add the Korean language.

‘God Made the Rules and His Word Is Truth’

Who has the authority to define truth? The voices of secularism in our nation—including the media, Hollywood, and much of the educational establishment—certainly claim that authority. And if you disagree with their views, especially on sexual orientation or gender identity, they look for ways to silence you.

I experienced that very recently when Facebook blocked me from posting for a 24-hour period because of something I said on the site two years ago, in 2016.

Bruce Springsteen, a longtime gay rights activist, had canceled a concert in North Carolina in protest over a state law to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. He said the law was going “backwards instead of forwards.”

I responded that we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands. Back to common sense. I expressed support for the law and added that “bowing at the feet of godless secularism and political correctness is not progress.” Facebook said that went against their “community standards on hate speech.”

The Facebook ban made national news, and they reconsidered and apologized. I gladly accepted their apology. But the incident illustrates how common it has become in our culture to substitute godless standards for God’s truth, and then to silence those who disagree. The label “hate speech” has become a popular weapon used to attack anyone who speaks out based on what God says about moral issues. So much for free speech.

All this reminds me of Paul’s words to the Galatians: “Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16, ESV).

God made the rules and His Word is truth. Jesus said in prayer to the Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17), and the Bible is where we find His truth defined, not in social media or popular culture.

Thank You

As our evangelistic ministry moves forward across the U.S. and around the world through 2019, I want to thank you for your prayers and your financial support—we couldn’t do this work without you. In all, we have BGEA evangelistic events scheduled this year in over 40 cities on five continents, including a number of U.S. cities. More are being added.

Vast numbers of people in the world today have no idea how to find real and lasting hope or true forgiveness. They need Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all you do to help us tell them.

May God richly bless you,
Franklin Graham Signature
Franklin Graham
President