Will Graham Evangelistic 'Celebration for Peace' Reaches 21,000 Kenyans

( [email protected] ) Jun 13, 2013 12:44 PM EDT

Will Graham, Billy Graham’s grandson, preached in the same Kenyan city that his grandfather preached 53 years ago to more than 20,000 at the Celebration for Peace.

"This is not to say that Kisumu is a godless city; not by a long shot. There is an awesome remnant of churches and Christians that are praying for and actively working in their city," he wrote, according to the BGEA website.

Will Graham said God has given him a special burden for Kenya. More than 1,350 made decisions to follow Christ over the course of the three days from June 7-9 in Kisumu, Kenya.

"My prayer is that the people who gave their life to Christ, that they get followed up by the local churches,” Graham told the participants in Kenya.

"There are some of you here today that Jesus is not the ruler of your life," Graham preached. "Jesus is the only one able to save you from your situations."

Graham was joined on-stage by local choirs and artists like Everlyne Muthoka and Rosemary Ogonya, as well as American soloist Mark Christian who serves as worship leader for Will Graham Celebrations.

Every church and every bishop in town participated in the Celebration, which says a lot about the excitement to bring an evangelistic event of this size to the sports arena for the first time.

"You could tell there was an expectation that God was going to do something great," Graham said, as he recalled the event.

Street boys who spend their young lives getting high and begging for money were found in the middle of the worship, responding to the call. On the first night, two came to Christ, including a young boy named Huntington.

Celebrating at the Will Graham Celebration, a nightly event. (Photo: BGEA)

Huntington quits school because of problems at home, including an alcoholic father. A child relocation program that works with Samaritan’s Purse has started the process to help him get back in school and reconnect with his family.

According to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, much of Kisumu lives in poverty, "Which leads to immorality," explained Celebration counselor Christopher Mesa. He added that Kisumu is viewed in Kenya as "one of the most evil" cities.

The children's choir - all of them orphans - touched many hearts on day three of the Celebration. (Photo: BGEA)

Benjamin, 31, told Christopher he was involved in raping and stealing, and was a terrorist in the city, threatening many people. But Sunday marked a new beginning after Benjamin came forward on the final day of the Celebration.

Christopher was born out of polygamy and became a street boy after his father died and his mother turned to alcohol.

"But when I came to Christ, I prayed with my mom, and she is now born again," he said. "It is my joy to even tell other people that Jesus can save the rejected and the least fortunate in the community."

Upon return to America, Graham asks for continuous prayers for the people of Kisumu, that the seeds that were planted would fall on fertile soil and grow; not on rocky or weedy soil where they will wither and die.

"We need to surround them with our prayers, and cry out to the Lord of the harvest that a new generation of believers will grow out of this event, and the city of Kisumu will forever be changed for His glory!"

Will Graham preached the message of hope to more than 20,000 in Kisumu over the three days he was in the city. (Photo: BGEA)