Venue Manager and Thousands More Met Christ in Oaxaca, Mexico

By   •   April 19, 2023

For two days in downtown Oaxaca City, Mexico, thousands attended the Days of Hope Festival where David Ruíz, Spanish-speaking evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, boldly preached the Gospel in Guelaguetza Auditorium.

When Martín* got to work at the Guelaguetza Auditorium on Saturday morning, he had a long list of details to go through. As the general manager of the venue, he had to make sure everything was ready for the Days of Hope Festival that weekend.

Little did Martín know that by Sunday, his perspective on life would radically change.

Martín’s hometown, the city of Oaxaca in southeastern Mexico, attracts tourists from all over the world eager to experience its vibrant colors, delicious food, and rich traditions.

But the people of this area, like those around the world, also need the hope that only Jesus Christ can offer.

Martín didn’t know how much he needed that hope.

On Saturday, he kept busy with event logistics, but on the second night of the Festival, all his attention was focused on the words of Evangelist David Ruíz.

“At that moment, he was not sitting in the audience, but standing behind the stage,” said Pastor Gabriel Borbolla, a Festival coordinator who witnessed God at work.

With the Bible lifted high, David Ruíz preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited everyone there to repent of their sins and receive the Lord’s free offer of salvation.

Near the end of Ruíz’s message, all eyes were on the evangelist as he challenged the audience with a soul-piercing question:

“We are born to die. Are you ready? Death can come at any moment,” Ruiz said. “Tonight you can have an assurance of eternal life if you give your life to Jesus because He said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live’” (John 11:25, ESV).

In that moment, the Holy Spirit worked in the heart of Martín, who decided to repent of his sins and trust Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Martín shared later that after he put his faith in Christ, he was so excited that he was no longer worried about the details of the event. “The most wonderful thing that was supposed to happen tonight just happened: Christ is in my heart!”

More than 6,000 children and their families paid close attention during Festikids, a Gospel-centered event designed especially for them. More than 1,000 children said they wanted to receive Jesus Christ into their hearts.

A Gospel-Proclaiming Festival

During the Days of Hope Festival March 24– 25, more than 200 local churches joined with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and prayed tirelessly so that many would hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Their prayers were answered as more than 27,000 people attended the three events that took place that weekend. Over 2,500 people put their faith in Jesus Christ.

“Days of Hope was a manifestation of great unity of the local church,” said Pastor Borbolla. “It’s been over a decade since we celebrated an event in unity, but now we are coming together to serve and impact our city.”

The following Monday, April 3, local pastors met to discuss the Festival.

“The pastors testified how new believers are being integrated into their congregations,” Borbolla said. “Some families even said it was the children who asked to go to church.”

“In our church, many people visited us the following Sunday,” said Pastor Elías Betanzos. “These are the people who were reached on the day of the Festival. Without a doubt, I can testify that there were results, and I think this was just the turning point of what is going to happen in Oaxaca. I thank God who made all this possible.”

*Name changed for privacy.

Music artists such as Miel San Marcos (above), Nadia, Jahaziel Band, and Israel Garcia helped lead the crowd in praise and worship music, which was heard several blocks away from the venue.