Tohoku Celebration Draws Record Crowd

By   •   March 4, 2012

In a city with 83 churches and where the average congregation has 25 members, the Tohoku Celebration of Hope drew the largest crowd ever assembled for a Christian event in the history of the Tohoku region.

Close to 12,000 people poured into the Grande 21 Arena last weekend after snow that blanketed the area Friday began to melt and the sun burst forth. Nearly 900 others watched from satellite locations elsewhere in Japan.

The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was lifted up in song by artists like Kirk Franklin, Korean pop group 3rd Wave, the Tommy Coomes Band and Alfie Silas, and in the messages preached by Franklin Graham.

More than 400 people made commitments to Jesus over three days.

Pastors in the Tohoku area, who cooperated in a new way to host the Celebration, are excited to welcome new members of the Body of Christ. Many need refreshment from a year of ministering to survivors of the earthquake and tsunami last March 11.

As the final night of the Celebration concluded, pastors said they anticipate a fresh inflow of disciples and pray that Japan—a country where less than 1 percent of the population is Christian—is on the verge of a revival.

Other Stories from This Celebration

Praises Rise Across Tohoku
Now that the Tohoku Celebration of Hope has made history by bringing together the largest number of people ever to hear the Gospel in one place, praise reports are beginning to pour in.

A Rolling Witness to Love

Two non-Christian friends have been so moved by the love of believing volunteers that they have donated their time and resources in support of the Tohoku Celebration of Hope. At least that’s the way this story first started.

New Life Rises in Sendai
Franklin Graham shared the hope of the Gospel Friday in a place that served as a temporary morgue after the March 11 disaster. It has since been remodeled, and standing over a spot that once held death, men and women from across Sendai found new life.

Franklin Graham Expresses Hope in Sendai
As the rain stopped and the sun rose over the mountains surrounding Sendai this morning, Franklin Graham and the team from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association were hard at prayer, lifting up the people of the Tohoku region and this weekend’s Celebration of Hope.

Alfie Silas-Durio: A Love Affair with Japan
Vocalist Alfie Silas-Durio just concluded a concert tour designed to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to Japanese people. Find out what drives her to minister in Japan and how she personally touches lives after each show.

A Song for Sendai
As musicians, we want to prepare the people for Franklin Graham as he preaches the Gospel,” said Dennis Agajanian, who will play at the March 2-4 Tohoku Celebration of Hope. He also spent the last several weeks traveling around Sendai, teaching guitar and sharing Christ. Learn more in our interview.

A Resurrection Story
March 11 isn’t the only date from 2011 seared into Pastor Satoru Ito’s memory. April 24 holds equal—if not greater—power. For it was on April 24, Easter Sunday, that his church came back to life.

Snapshots from Sendai: One Couple’s Story of Love and Survival
Although one year has passed since the March 11 tsunami and earthquake rattled Japan, one thing that wasn’t shaken or washed away is love.

Redeeming the Ground
One year after the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Franklin Graham will share the life-changing hope of the Gospel in Sendai, Japan.

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