Long Drive, Short Walk to Jesus

By   •   September 9, 2019

Will Graham invited his brother, former Army Ranger Edward Graham, to pray before delivering the Good News to a standing-room only crowd of more than 2,300 at the Helena Fairgrounds.

Distance in Montana is relative.

An hour in the car? People barely raise an eyebrow.

Forty miles to school? Each way? No problem.

So when Trey, 9, saw a post on Facebook that Will Graham’s Big Sky Celebration was coming to Helena, it didn’t matter he lived in Bozeman, a cozy 100 miles away. The whole family was going.

Turns out, it was a trip of a lifetime.

Trey was one of 2,300-plus people who packed the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds on Sunday. But the standing-room-only crowd didn’t faze him. Trey responded quickly to a powerful message and invitation from Will Graham, bringing his mom forward with him as he accepted Christ as his Savior.

“It was awesome,” his counselor Lisa Wordal of Helena said. “Just knowing this man’s life is going to be changed from now on.”

Just as Will Graham finished leading the large crowd in a prayer of repentance, Wordal took a quick peek at Trey.

“He started crying,” she said. “Then his mom started crying.”

Next thing you know, Trey’s entire family of five, all Christians, joined him in celebrating his step of faith.

“He decided to give his life to Jesus,” Wordal said. “And now he’s got a best friend to help him through all of life’s ups and downs.”

Jeremy Camp, whose life story will be featured in a movie next year, brought high-energy music to set the stage for the Gospel to be shared.

One Last Chance

Will Graham began—and ended—Sunday night’s message talking about “Last chance … a term guys know well in Helena.”

Last Chance Gulch, where gold was found in 1864, is now the town’s main street. So Will Graham wasn’t shy about bringing up the concept, especially in regards to dealing with eternity.

“This could be your last chance,” he said, moments before extending the invitation. “I’m not trying to scare you, but you never know if you’ll have this chance again.”

His passionate plea for Montana residents to open their hearts to Jesus resonated as subsequent waves of people responded to the Gospel.

Hundreds made life-changing decisions for Christ over three days in Helena. More than 4,500 heard the Good News over three nights at the fairgrounds with more than 17,000 watching live online around the world.

“Maybe you feel like you have no purpose in your life, no meaning,” Graham said. “Let me tell you—God has a purpose for your life.”

“For those that are hopeless tonight, God wants to give you hope,” Will Graham said during the invitation to receive Christ after preaching from 1 Samuel. “He will give you meaning.”

One Accord

Carrol Dupuy, Debbie Rauber and Pam Kiffer heard about the Big Sky Celebration at their church in Lincoln, roughly 50 miles from the fairgrounds. But, in Debbie’s words, “There was no hesitation. As soon as we heard about it, we were in.”

The three carpooled to the Celebration and by the end of the weekend, as crew members tore down chairs and started to dismantle the stage, there was a sense that God put them in this place for such a time as this.

“We are so blessed and so honored to do this,” Debbie said. “It was very moving. I could feel the Spirit in here.”

A young mom named Brianna, who is raising three sons by herself, brought them all Sunday evening and heard Will Graham offering a “fresh start” to those who surrender to God.

“I felt Will explained the Gospel very well,” Debbie said later. “It was very clear.”

Debbie ended up talking with Brianna, who gave her life to Christ. The mom’s two oldest sons, ages 5 and 7, also came forward and talked with Carrol.

“The two brothers accepted Jesus into their heart,” Carrol said with a huge smile. “It was a wonderful experience.”

And as for the long-term effects of the Celebration, the trio thinks it will go a long way.

“Helena needs Jesus,” Carrol said. “Lincoln needs Jesus. All of Montana needs Jesus.”

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