More Than 70,000 Hear About Hope Across Washington and Oregon

By   •   August 14, 2018

Following the 10-city Decision America California Tour this spring, Franklin Graham continued north through seven cities in Oregon and Washington this month, ultimately reaching more than 127,000 people across all three states. “I want you to be sure tonight that you’re ready to stand before God one day,” he told those gathered in a heartfelt appeal.

Thirteen days, seven stops across two of America’s most secular states.

While Franklin Graham makes his home in the North Carolina mountains, he talked for months about sharing Jesus clear across the country in the Pacific Northwest—Oregon and Washington. Just a couple of weeks ago, he finally set out on the Decision America Pacific Northwest Tour, reaching over 70,000 people from southern Oregon to northern Washington.

“My wife and I have fond memories of the Pacific Northwest,” Franklin Graham said, talking about some connections they have to the area. Franklin even studied for a while at Seattle Pacific University.

Along the tour, he hit some big cities like Portland and Tacoma, but also addressed smaller towns, ending the tour in Monroe, Washington—population 18,000—on Monday.

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” —Mark 8:36

The purpose behind the tour was three-fold: encourage people to pray boldly over the affairs of their state and recognize their daily need for Jesus Christ while also driving home the need for a Christian voice in their communities.

Franklin isn’t one to mince words when it comes to the truth of God’s Word. Throughout the tour, his voice carried across open fairgrounds, an amphitheater, speedway and parking lot, telling all within earshot that God is real, He cares, He hears and He forgives.

“I want to talk to you about something that’s very important, and that’s your soul,” Franklin said Monday night.

He recalled being in Rwanda years ago during a time of genocide. He personally witnessed decaying bodies strewn across the landscape, but said those bodies were just empty shells of the people themselves. It’s the soul that lives on for eternity to either be with God or apart from Him.

Roommates Bethany Kirby (left) and Colleen Goad (right) sat in the front row. Bethany grew up in church and went to Christian school, but said it wasn’t until this past November that she decided, “I want to live for Jesus.”

“The body is not the real you,” he said.

His father, Billy Graham, passed away in February, Franklin Graham continued. “He’s buried in Charlotte, North Carolina, but he’s not there. His soul is in heaven.”

It was the souls of people filling the Evergreen Speedway seats and thousands more watching online Monday night that particularly concerned Franklin.

Colleen Goad and Bethany Kirby of Marysville, Washington, arrived a few hours early to get a seat right up front. They passed the time with Bibles open on their laps, reading.

The roommates have been part of a ministry-based recovery program for addicts and want to see others in their state find the same freedom in Jesus Christ that they’ve found.

Colleen and about 30 others came to Evergreen Speedway on Saturday to walk the track and pray over the tour stop.

“I want the momentum to keep going,” she said about her hope for Washington state post-tour. “I want the Holy Spirit fire just catching and people hearing about God because they don’t hear about Him here.”

Kevin Carmichael bounded up the bleachers at Evergreen Speedway with a big smile and big wave, shaking hands with people in the crowd. Kevin served as a chaplain, wanting all in his state to know personally the love of God. “For God so loved the world. It doesn’t matter where you at.”

So what can she do, individually, to help make that happen?

On Colleen’s right forearm is a tattoo with the words “I loved you at your darkest,” a reference to Romans 5:8, which reads, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

That’s the message she said she can share with others—so they, too, can hear the soul-filling Good News.

“Jesus died on the cross for your sins, for my sins,” Franklin Graham said. “We’ve been lost to sin, but He doesn’t want us to be lost. … He wants to cleanse us from our sins.”

While Washington is thousands of miles from America’s Bible Belt, based on the crowds from the Pacific Northwest Tour, there are tens of thousands in agreement with Franklin Graham that the Bible is the Word of God. Many on the tour, like Colleen and Bethany, said they want to live it out and desire to share their faith with others.

“We don’t just want to believe. We don’t want to just follow. We want to be disciples,” Bethany said. “We don’t have to save the world. Jesus did that. We just have to tell people about it.”

Please be in prayer as Franklin Graham makes plans to visit other states across America on the Decision America Tour.

An estimated 8,300 people came out for the final Decision America stop in Monroe, Washington.