The rains kept coming. Will Graham kept preaching.
And God kept moving in Kenya.
the time Sunday night’s final invitation was over, giant puddles were
about the only thing remaining at the Mama Scrape Grounds where the Will
Graham Celebration of Peace Nakuru had taken place for three straight
But on that soggy field, hundreds upon hundreds had made
life-changing decisions to accept Christ as their personal Savior in
this city of Nakuru, a two-hour drive from Nairobi, and a place where
over a quarter million people call home.
More than 14,000 braved the sketchy weather conditions to hear what the grandson of Billy Graham had to say.
now are you going to do with Jesus?” asked Will, who is the oldest son
of Franklin Graham. “What I’m going to ask you to do is the most
important decision you’ll ever make in life.”
Here’s a recap of the weekend events:
A 30-minute downpour brought Sunday’s closing meeting to a standstill.
nobody wanted to stay out on the field and get soaked. As many that
could crammed into two open-sided tents beside the platform, but because
of the severity of the rain, the protection to those on the perimeter
Workers hastily covered the loud speakers. Many who lived nearby scurried back to their homes. Everyone else waited.
as the rain started to let up, little by little, people returned to the
stadium. The worship team took the platform and began singing.
started preaching in light rain, a good portion of his message being
delivered under the protection of an umbrella. After a message on
Christ’s return, he asked the crowd to be sure they were ready to stand
before God. Several hundred responded.
“I’m so grateful to God
for the great decisions people have made,” said Rev. Paul Mwakio,
chairman of the Celebration’s executive committee. “I know the bigger
job we are left with is the preservation of the harvest.
plan that we will get back together with the pastors and try to follow
up, because we have the contact information from the people.”
The finale of a two-week, 18-team youth soccer event, called The Will Graham Peace Tournament concluded on Saturday.
the Mwenge Futbol Club defeated the Nakuru All-Stars 2-0, Will, who
personally signed certificates for all 400 participants, gave a Gospel
message, with an effective illustration:
“What is the purpose of a pen?” he asked. “To write,” someone shouted.
purpose of a pen is to write,” he continued. “But it can only fulfill
its purpose when it’s in its master’s hand. And the same is true in
life. You can only fulfill your purpose when you surrender to God.
Because it is God who gives you purpose and meaning in life.”
Will and his wife, Kendra, also gave out trophies and certificates, as well as a soccer ball for each club.
evening at Mama Scrape Grounds, Will preached on the death of Christ,
explaining that Jesus bore our sins on the cross. Hundreds responded to
the invitation to receive Christ.
day started out with Kendra speaking at a women’s rally at Life
Celebration Centre. Mixing humorous stories about her children with
teaching from the Bible, Kendra reminded the estimated 500 Kenyan women
in attendance of God’s love and personal care.
“God has decided
not to forget you. Others may forget you,” she said. “A spouse may
forget you. A child may forget you. A church may forget you. But God
will never forget you.”
It was Kendra’s first trip to Kenya.
don’t know what they are going through,” she said after her talk, “but
God laid it on my heart to tell the women that He is very aware and
cares deeply about it.”
That evening, during the Celebration of
Peace, it started to sprinkle just after Will began to preach. After a
couple of minutes, the rain started to come down a little harder.
some moved from the open field to the nearby tents, others ignored the
rain and stayed in their seats. Umbrellas were held over Will and his
interpreter as Will preached about Pontius Pilate, a man who couldn’t
bring himself to make a decision about Jesus.
“If you want to
take a stand for Jesus, I want you to come,” Will said. “I’m asking you
to make a decision that even a Roman governor didn’t have the courage to
do. Will you come right now?
“If you’re tired of carrying all your burdens in life, my friends, give them over to Christ tonight.”
the bad weather, there was a great sense of unity that developed
through the Celebration within the pastoral community in Nakuru.
want to say that I am grateful to the [Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association], because there has been more cohesion among the ministers
in working together in bringing this meeting,” the Rev. Mwakio said.
“And I trust this will be a new beginning for the working-together of
pastors. And I look forward to seeing pastors working together the way
they have done in this event.”
Used with permission of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association