Evangelist Luis Palau is calling on God's people around the world to intercede for the small yet influential nation of Guatemala ahead of a two-day evangelistic event that is expected to reach hundreds of thousands of people.
"I am here in Guatemala where I was awakened early with a pressing message on my heart," reported Palau through an announcement passed along this week.
"[T]he country really needs intercessory prayer," he told supporters. "There is tremendous violence in the streets."
Since arriving in Guatemala earlier this month, Palau has been meeting with church leaders, business leaders, and government officials with the hope that the upcoming Guatemala Festival and the three weeks of community outreach leading up to it will change lives and transform families, communities, cities, and Latin America as a whole.
More than 3,200 churches are participating in the outreach and some 40,000 believers have been mobilized to impact their community and reach out to their families, neighbors, friends, and coworkers.
"I am pleading for our people by the thousands to pray for Guatemala – for the glory of God and for the good of the Guatemalans who love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ," Palau urged. "Please pray that we will preach the Gospel with clarity and boldness in all the events this week."
The Guatemala Festival with Luis Palau will officially kick off Friday and conclude Saturday. As is typical of Palau's evangelistic events, the Guatemala Festival will feature live concerts, a children's area, a skate park, and messages delivered by the world renowned preacher.
Though Palau's organization began holding evangelistic festivals in 1999, the evangelist and his ministry have shared the Gospel with more than 1 billion people through events and through media over the course of more than 40 years. Palau, himself, has spoken in person to more than 25 million people in 72 countries and had worked for another renowned evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, decades ago.
According to the Luis Palau Association, the organization has been working for more than 40 years in Guatemala, "one of the first countries God put on Luis' heart."
An LPA office has been there since 1970, and Palau has ministered to Guatemalan presidents since 1965, the organization added.
"Guatemala is on the verge of a major breakthrough," the LPA reported.
"From the president and his cabinet on through mayors and military officers, and of course hundreds of thousands of citizens, all of Guatemala will be reached with the Good News and love of Jesus Christ," it exclaimed.
Since the end of the 36-years-long Guatemalan Civil War in 1996, the Central American country home to some 13 million people has been in a state of continuous development and economic growth. Guatemala has also witnessed successive democratic elections, most recently in 2007.
More than one third of Guatemalans are Protestant, mostly Evangelicals and Pentecostals.