Franklin Graham Shares God's Love in Haiti
38,000 Fill Stadium for Festival of Hope
January 9, 2011 - They came by the tens of thousands—hungry for hope after a year filled with death, devastation and illness—and they did not leave empty. On a hot Sunday afternoon in Port-au-Prince, scores of Haitians were filled with the love of Christ during the Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham.
by Janet Chismar
“This is a special day,” said Graham. “People have been praying for months. People around the world have been praying for Haiti.”
As he began to speak to the Haitian people, Graham recalled the earthquake of January 12, 2010, that killed thousands and destroyed countless homes. He asked those in the crowd who lost loved ones to raise their hands then reassured them that God knows what it is like to lose a son. “God understands grief,” he said. “Will you trust Him for healing? Will you trust Him with your life?”
Graham spoke, also, of the cholera epidemic: “In October, cholera came into your country, infecting thousands. Many have died and are sick. But sin has infected the entire world. Jesus came to cleanse the world of sin.”
Using John 3:16 as his primary text, Graham went on to tell the Haitians that God loves the people of their nation. “He is real and knows everything about you. God is the creator of heaven and earth. He is also spirit and we must worship Him in spirit and truth. Today, will you worship Him?”
After teaching on sin and how God will ultimately judge the world, he invited the people of Haiti to come forward and surrender their lives to Jesus. “Are you ready to stand before God? If you remember nothing else from today, remember that God loves you. God loves Haiti.”
Hundreds responded to the invitation, leaving the National Soccer Stadium with full hearts and new lives. Thousand more across the island nation listened to Graham's message via radio, and viewers around the world saw the Festival online.
Jean, a young Haitian-American man watching online in the United States, commented via Facebook,"On behalf of all grateful Haitians, I would like to thank all of you for your heartfelt prayers. If there is anything that Haiti needs a lot of right now, it's definitely prayer. I pray that God changes Haiti into a praying nation."
This Wednesday, January 12, the country will mark a National Day of Prayer and Fasting in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.
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The Kwazzad Espwa Nan Kris, or Festival of Hope, is just one part of a coordinated effort that began when Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains landed in Haiti one day after a 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of the tiny island nation. Working alongside volunteers from Samaritan’s Purse, the chaplains continue to serve in Haiti, meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of the Haitian people. Learn more about the Rapid Response Team effort here »
The BGEA is planning to bring the My Hope World Evangelism through Television Project to Haiti in 2011. Learn more »