Will Graham Bicol Celebration of Hope

The Will Graham Bicol Celebration of Hope was a four-day crusade held in Pili Freedom Stadium in Camarines Sur Province on April 28 – May 1.  It was sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA).  Will Graham is the grandson of Billy Graham, and the son of Franklin Graham. 
The crusade included children’s events during the day and adult events at night.  There were Filipino big-name contemporary Christian entertainers, a large choir, an extreme bike and skateboard team, and of course a message from Will Graham with an invitation to accept Christ and fill out response cards with counselors.
According to Will Graham’s Facebook site:  Will Graham shared the Gospel to over 97,000 people from April 28 – May 1 and over 20,000 decisions were made for Christ! 
Although the crusade was two Provinces away and about a 2 – 3 hour bus ride away from the location of our mission, over 300 people in and around our churches participated.  PAMI had about 30 people or so serving as counselors, having gone through BGEA Life and Witness training classes in February.  Furthermore, BGEA provided free transportation to those who participated in Operation Andrew, in which you invite friends and neighbors to come with you.

Text from Ptr Chito:
Those who submitted Operation Andrew list of participants were able to have buses for the crusade.    Irosin pami (120people/2buses) and emmaus church (220people/4buses) attended. 
(These PAMI people attended on Saturday April 30.)
5-6-11 email from Ptr Chito:
Dear Brother Mike,
The love of God. Bicol Celebration of Hope with Will Graham was a success in terms of great number of people coming to the Lord Jesus Christ. I can attest to the fact that The Grahams’ been used by God mightily as far as presenting the Gospel with power and clarity. People from the seats raised their hands and moved almost like one person responding to the altar call to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. So, looking at that multitudes after having confessing Christ, instead of becoming an echelon supervisor (giving materials and getting the follow-up cards), I decided to do counseling (checking the response of the inquirer/or the need of guiding them again to the salvation message/getting all data about them for follow-up). I decided that way because time is so crucial, many of them may go back to their seats without being counseled. It was a great experience, not only for me, but also looking at Emmaus people (I have 20 counselors with me from Emmaus) getting names and waving follow-up cards.
This time we are waiting for the instructions of the BGEA data base for follow-up. But I did follow-up some because I was able to get cell phone numbers. They came from camarines norte.
Thank you very much for praying for us. Emmaus water baptism will be on May 20th.
Love in Christ,
Ptr Chito
5-20-11 email from Ptr Chito:
By the way, follow-up cards from the recent Bicol Celebration of Hope arrived here already. Praise God that we have 80 people from Emmaus Church alone who received Christ as Lord and savior. There were many others from Irosin PAMI church and also from Casiguran. We will be meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss these things (follow-up), which I think would be easy because of our small groups in different locations.
Texts from Ptr Randy:
Yes Will Graham Crusade Is So Exiting, A Lot Of People Come Bec. Bus Fare Is Free And A Lot Of T.V And Movie Local Star To Give Their Testimoy How They Encounter Jesus In Their Lives. Glory To God. A Lot Of People Accept Jesus During The Crusade. Was So Really Exiting.  Glory To God For The Wonderful And Meaningful Crusade, Hope Will Graham Come Back Again.
From http://www.bicolwillgraham.com/Bicol_Celebration_of_Hope
The Bicol Celebration of Hope with Will Graham is a special project of Bicol Will Graham Celebration, Inc. and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The purpose of the celebration is to mobilize the Bicol Christian community in order to assemble as many people as possible to hear the gospel message that Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and to give opportunity to inquirers to respond to the gospel and be counseled personally and then be referred to a participating church for fellowship and nurture.
This event is very timely since recent statistics show that out of 5.711 million Bicolanos, only about 3% are Christians (or only 171,000).
From Bicolmail.com:
more than 650 local churches in Bicol banded together and worked with their counterparts in Metro-Manila and other parts of the Philippines through the auspices and support of institutions like the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), the Sowers Fund, Becca Music, Inc. Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF), Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF), and many others. Many private individuals and commercial institutions which preferred to remain anonymous, provided financial support, logistics, and food to the volunteer workers, counselors, & ushers while public officials are one with the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces in helping provide transportation for participants coming from island provinces, and security. It must be noted that many prominent Bicolanos generously contributed, and were continuously praying for the success of the celebration.
        For the past three months the BGEA have trained thousands as counselors with their Christian Life and Witness (CLW) classes, and the Operation Andrew seminars. They were provided with books and training materials for their guide and reference, and certified them as counselors. On the other hand, there were separate programs for the children which were actively participated by several thousands of children in the provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur.
From Philstar.com:
Why Bicol was chosen as the site of the Will Graham evangelistic crusade was explained by Bishop Ephraim Tendero, national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches. The Bicol Region, he said in a letter previously sent out to would-be sponsors, “has long been a calamity-stricken area. Deep poverty, devastation and uncertainty are a way of life for so many people. The Bicol Celebration of Hope was born out of the devastation of Typhoon Reming which struck in 2006. As a result, members of BGEA and local pastors met and committed to a partnership to bring the lasting peace and love of Christ to these people.”
Most photos are from Bicol Will Graham on Facebook

kids gathering (in the rain)


Filling out response cards

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