Historic Milestones and New Beginnings in Manila and Beyond

By   •   February 17, 2019

Will Graham in the Philippines
The Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration with Will Graham was an eight-day, nine-event evangelistic campaign which took place in Manila and the Pangasinan region of the Philippines, Feb. 9-17.

Will Graham’s trip to the Philippines was historic for many reasons.

For the first time, three generations of the Graham family preached from the same venue in the same city—Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines.

But before Will arrived at that venue, he kicked off the Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration with a two-day event in Lingayen, Pangasinan to the north.

Afterward, he traveled in and around the Philippines’ capital city to share the Gospel at various events for teens, government/military/police leaders and business/marketplace leaders.

Through an evangelistic campaign reminiscent of Billy Graham’s Crusades—in which longer multi-day events allowed new believers to bring friends to the following nights’ Crusade meetings—Will Graham preached at nine events over eight days.

Will Graham’s Evangelistic Campaign in the Philippines

  • Feb. 9-10: Greater Pangasinan Celebration
  • Feb. 11: Youth Night (teens)
  • Feb. 12: Strategic Leaders Celebration (government/military/police leaders)
  • Feb. 13: Hope Alive (business/marketplace leaders)
  • Feb 16: KidzFest (children)
  • Feb. 15-17: Metro Manila Celebration

This weekend at Rizal Park was the grand finale. In total, God drew more than 100,000 people to the Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration, and thousands responded to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

“These are some of the biggest crowds I’ve ever preached to,” Will Graham said after his first weekend in the Philippines. “We’ve also seen one of the greatest responses ever.”

The work of the Holy Spirit among the Filipino people led to another historic milestone.

As of last weekend in Pangasinan, more than one million people have attended one of Will Graham’s evangelistic events. And as of this weekend’s KidzFest, more than 100,000 people have made spiritual decisions for Christ at those events.

“The way that Will’s able to connect to the people is, I believe, the Holy Spirit using him,” said Celebration director Jeffrey Ferris at the conclusion of the Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration. “It was only the Lord that could make this event happen.”

While the mass number of people hearing and responding to the Gospel is exciting, numbers are not the goal. From God’s perspective, even one soul saved is worth a lifelong work of ministry.

As Will explained Sunday in Manila, God desires a personal relationship with each of the 42,000 souls gathered there for the final night of the Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration.

“God sees everything that’s going on in your life,” Will said. “He loves you. He created you. And He knows your name.”

In the last message of his evangelistic tour, Will reminded the people of the Philippines that they needed to make the personal decision to accept the gift of forgiveness Jesus Christ paid for on the cross.

“No one else can make the decision for you,” he said. “He wants to forgive you. All you have to do is receive it.”

That message was just the encouragement Roland needed.

Filipino men
Roland (center) attended the final night of the eight-day, nine-event Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration with several childhood friends.

After losing his job of 23 years last week, a childhood friend invited him to the Metro Manila Celebration.

“So many times he encouraged me to accept the Gospel,” Roland said of his friend Eric, who is now a pastor. While Roland attends Catholic Mass every Sunday, he never made the personal decision to ask Jesus Christ to come into his heart and life.

That was until Sunday night. When Will Graham gave the invitation, Roland came forward to the very front and center of the stage. With tears in his eyes, he prayed to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation—and start a personal relationship with his Savior.

“It seems like everything is right now,” an emotional Roland explained. Despite the uncertainty of the future and worries about providing for his family, his confidence is in his heavenly Father. “I surrendered everything to the Lord.”

While the historic Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration with Will Graham has come to an end, for people like Roland, the journey with Christ is just beginning.

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? You can today.