Musical performances from David Quinlan and Michael W. Smith were stellar and got the crowd jumping. During his second set, Smitty donned a Brazilian soccer jersey and everyone went nuts!
Franklin Graham spoke powerfully from the Gospel of Luke, using the story of Zacchaeus to demonstrate a person’s immediate need for Jesus.
By the end of the night, several hundred made a decision to accept or recommit their lives to Christ including Margaret, who is 35 years old. She had committed her life to the Lord when she was younger, but seven years ago, she left the church and abandoned her faith.
Lourdes, her neighbor, has known Margaret for three years and knew of her spiritual need. The church where Lourdes attends was promoting the Festival, so she decided to come and brought Margaret along.
Before Graham preached the Gospel, Michael W. Smith sang several songs and God used his words to deeply touch Margaret and she felt God calling her back to Himself.
So she walked forward after Graham’s message to rededicate her life to Christ and surrender her life to Him. She was joined by Lourdes, who told the counselor that she was going to help Margaret to grow in her Christian walk with the Lord.
This is just one of the many ways God is working in Belo Horizonte. Festival leaders are very excited to see the Festival unfold. The National Coordinator, Geremias Couto, said that after some months of facing huge challenges, “we are finally enjoying this defining moment for the Brazilian church. There are many needs are across the country.”
Couto shared a brief sketch of Belo Horizonte: “It is a city of 2.5 million people; the third largest city in Brazil. I have good news for those who like soccer. Belo Horizonte will be the host for the 2014 World Cup.
“This is a big mining area,” he added. “Mostly gold – many ladies wear jewelry that comes from the general mine here. We also have nine billion tons of iron. Our city covers a 7,000 square kilometer area.”
But, said Couto, the spiritual heritage is not so rich. Only 19 percent of the people are considered evangelical. That is why the Festival brings hope to Brazil, he added. “For the first time we have unity among Belo Horizonte churches. We have over 800 churches that are a part of the Festival of Hope.”
Belo Horizonte Videos
The first night of Franklin Graham’s preaching began the harvest. Please pray for him and the team tonight and Saturday. Pray that many in this city will come to know Jesus as their savior and for the many, many volunteers.
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