A weeklong media blitz that organizers say reached tens of millions throughout Latin America with the gospel wrapped up Sunday with a special Easter service at Lakewood Church in Houston – the largest church in America.
"I spoke with callers from Argentina, Guatemala, California, Honduras, and El Salvador," reported evangelist Luis Palau, who teamed up with Spanish television network Enlace for the March 29-April 4 outreach, Continente 2010.
"Each told me about deep-seated, difficult issues they were facing – from divorce and sexual addiction or assault to depression, suicide, and even murder. I shared the truth of the love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ that is available to everyone," he added.
According to organizers, call screeners in 26 countries were employed to field calls for each nightly airing of "Night Talk," patching callers through to Palau in the Enlace studio in Dallas or other Christian counselors.
At one point, the live call-in was fielding more than 950 calls and received calls even an hour after the 8-9 p.m. telecast.
"Many made first-time commitments to Jesus Christ right there with me on the phone. Only God knows how many more who were watching or listening also gave their lives to Christ!" exclaimed Palau.
During the five-night televised event, many churches in Latin America used the Continente telecasts to engage people in conversations about the meaning of Easter. Many churches also used the Continente effort to launch their own outreach events. All churches were committed to following up with the new believers referred to them.
"We are grateful for the partnership with Enlace and hundreds of churches who share the vision to help millions of people discover the true meaning of Easter," commented Kevin Palau, son of Luis Palau and president of the Luis Palau Association, prior to the media blitz.
In total, more than 685 churches registered as partners with Continente 2010, many offering live or delayed broadcasts of the show.
The nightly telecasts culminated Sunday with a two-hour Spanish-language service at Lakewood Church that, like "Night Talk," was aired by Enlace throughout Latin America.
For the service, the elder Palau joined worship leader Marcos Witt and a number of guest artists, including Salvador and Jaci Velasquez.
With more than 5,350 television and radio partners re-broadcasting the Enlace program, event organizers estimate a reach to tens of millions of people every evening, making Continente 2010 the widest-reaching campaign in the history of the Luis Palau Association.
Continente 2010 was the third media evangelism blitz that Palau's team has done and the first in more than two decades. Palau, who was born in Argentina, had spearheaded similar media events in 1975 and 1985.
The evangelist first started counseling people on live television in 1965 when he was invited by HCJB-TV in Quito, Ecuador, to take calls from spiritual seekers and skeptics.