To finalize plans and raise money for a two-day Twin Cities Festival (August 7-8) on the Capitol grounds in St. Paul, Luis Palau and his team made a three-day visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul. During the visit, Palau spoke with youths from Northwestern College, radio and media personnel, donors, and pastors in preparation for the largest festival fundraiser event in the history of the ministry.
An Argentinian-born evangelist trained in the tradition and theology of Billy Graham, Palau, 64, has held festivals in 70 countries during his career, often focusing on Latin America. He has stayed out of the Upper Midwest until recently, he said in part out of deference to Graham, his mentor and friend. His decision to hold a festival in the Twin Cities came last year after more than 200 local churches invited Palau to the Twin Cities to hold a festival; an invitation that he accepted. Palau joked several times about staying out of Graham's way, but now that the main offices of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have moved to North Carolina he felt free to come into Minnesota. Then he would smile and say it was only a joke. Palau's organization is based in Oregon.
During his visit, Palau carried his youthful God-loves-you salvation message to the evangelical media and students at Northwestern College.
On Tuesday morning, Palaus energy and charisma made its way to KTIS Radio (98.5 FM), the Upper Midwest's largest Christian radio system. "I've just met the guy who can 'out Chuck' Chuck [Knapp]," joked Knapp's sidekick, John Engen. The two are KTIS' morning drive-time cohosts on the station at Northwestern College in Roseville.
Late Tuesday, Palau met with the region's donors, who are raising the more than $2 million needed to put on the festival. On Wednesday he met with more than 700 pastors from virtually every Twin Cities denomination, and Thursday, before departing, he met with more than 300 youth pastors.
Organizers have been in the Twin Cities for months tending to the numerous details of an event expected to attract at least 250,000 people over two days. The festival, which will feature leading Christian rock bands such as Toby Mac, Point of Grace, Jump 5, Mary Mary and Casting Crowns, as well as skateboarders and professional sports figures. And for the children, the Veggie Tales characters will be featured.
At the end of a worship service last week, Palau said, "I just pray there is a national awakening and that God will use us all to shape this town for Jesus Christ."
[Source: Luis Palau Evangelistic Association]