God’s Word Transcends Language Barriers

By   •   June 27, 2011

His words struck a chord. Maria felt chills run up her spine when Franklin Graham talked about the temporal nature of the human body on this final night of the Festival de Esperanza.

“The body is made out of dust of the ground,” said Graham. “Your soul is the real you and it will never die. What should it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”

Death was on Maria’s heart. Several miles away, her 89-year-old father was resting at Memorial Hospital of Gardena in preparation for open heart surgery.

“I am worried about my papa,” she said after coming forward to recommit her life to Christ at The Home Depot Center in Carson. “The message about eternal life—I hope to share with him tomorrow. I want to know for sure he understands about salvation.”

Maria, a native of Mexico, understood Graham as he preached in English, but when Festival Director Galo Vasquez translated the message into Spanish, it resonated in a deeper way.

Carlos understood only the Spanish translation.

A recent arrival to the United States from El Salvador, he told a bilingual Festival advisor that he is grateful to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for bringing the first-ever Hispanic Festival to the greater Los Angeles area.

“I needed this,” he said with a tear running down his cheek. “I carried so much guilt. I did bad things at home for money when I was very young, but now I can have a brand new beginning in Jesus.”

Yolanda committed her life to Jesus in 2004 at a Billy Graham Crusade held at the Rose Bowl in nearby Pasadena. But then the pressures of raising a child on her own led her back to the bottle. “Tonight I feel strong to live again for Jesus after listening to the son, Franklin. I will be filled with the Holy Spirit instead of wine.”

Miguel also rededicated his life to the Lord. The 24-year old was baptized as a baby and attended church as a child, but when he entered his teen years, he wanted to enjoy an intimate relationship with his girlfriend. “I didn’t want to follow what the Bible says, but I heard what Franklin said about sin and burning in hell.

“I didn’t believe that just trusting in Jesus could save me—until now,” said Miguel. “I am glad for this Festival.”

And so are local pastors and church leaders. For months they have joined together in prayer for the Hispanic community in greater Los Angeles. “We pray the Lord will heal this city, heal our schools and heal our familes,” said Pastor Roberto Moreno. “We have been praying this Festival will begin a revival, especially in the hearts of pastors.”

Carlos Quintero, the President of the Festival Executive Committee, presented Franklin with a plaque at the end of the evening, thanking him on behalf of Hispanic churches in Los Angeles for “the seeds of love and compassion you have planted in our city during this first Hispanic Festival.

“We say, ‘Muchas Gracias.'”

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  1. Lupe says:

    What an awesome opportunity for the Spanish speaking community. Thank you Franklin! I would love to own a poster of this festival. If there is a place where I can purchase please post it on your website. Gracias!!!

  2. Ginny says:

    Ever since I moved to the new apartment I have not been myself. But I feel like finally after much prayer I am getting better. But I would still like your prayers. I feel they can make such a difference. And thank you for all the wonderful things you do in the world.

  3. miviglad says:

    I was one of the many who had the opportunity to see your father for the first time in San Diego many years ago. His message was strong and made you really think. My husband and I accepted the Lord that night. My husband lost his battle to Colon Cancer on 6/21/10. No matter what he endured he accepted it with no complaints. But when the doctor told us there was nothing else they could do I cried. But my husband loved and trusted the Lord that all he said was he was ready to go home and that he did not fear death. Your father changed our lives forever. And I am so grateful.

  4. Diana says:

    Thank you Franklin. It is equally reassuring to see you carry on the legacy that I know your father intended to happen. We all need the message. Many folks are hurting. The end is near, it is time for repentance and redemption. God's love is the only thing that can bind what the enemy has taken. Peace to you my brother.

  5. martha says:

    Since I heard about the festival I started praying to our Lord Jesus to prepare those heart and to be touched by him through the message and it was a great joy to see all that people answering to the invitation that pastor Franklin made, That was the day of salvation for them and for me to see that our God is still touching lives. amen

  6. Betty says:

    God bless you, Franklin! The heart of Hispanics responds to God's love.You have come as intermediary reminding them they need not feel outside the Lord's redemption! All respond with heart and soul. l God bless and guide us all. Amen !