(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association/Sam Cranston)
God answered evangelist Will Graham's, the grandson of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, prayer when he was recently in the Southeast Pacific rainforest nation of Papua New Guinea.
Nearly 800 people committed their life to Christ out of the 23,000-people crowd at the Celebration of Good News event in Mount Hagen, the capital of the Western Highlands province, during the three-day event, July 25-27.
But Graham will be quick to tell you about another answered prayer that made that all possible – seemingly divinely blessed weather.
"The days were gorgeous, just absolutely beautiful. We are just grateful for what God did in that," Graham said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday. "God allowed the rain to hold off just long enough."
The young evangelist said he sent out prayer requests before the trip through social media and his website that the rain could hold off during the celebration; God apparently answered. The cease in rain could not have been more perfectly timed, he shared. It was sprinkling when he got off the plane and poured during the nights when the event was not in session.
"During my last sermon on the closing day, right at the very end, it started to sprinkle," Graham told CP. "The next day when we did leave it was pouring rain the whole day. God just gave us a four day window to be able to do our ministry while we were there."
The weather was remarkable given that it will rain for weeks at a time in Papua New Guinea. And even though it was supposed to be dry season for the town of Mount Hagen, this area had experienced weeks of consecutive rain.
It was this helpful dry four-day window that allowed a large crowd to gather at Queen Elizabeth Park, just across the street from the province's new government building.
Besides the weather, Graham shared he was extremely thankful that the Western Highland province governor, Ati Wobiro, played an important role in getting the town to listen to what Graham and his wife, Kendra, had to share; Kendra led roughly 100 women to commit to Jesus during the event.
Wobiro told his constituents that society and government was filled with corruption and that the only one who could fix it is was Jesus Christ.
'"Today, Will is going to tell you about Jesus and I want you to pay attention,'" Graham recalled the governor saying. "He was kind of like a preacher. It was great to have this governor who was supporting us and explaining to the people as well. Sharing about Christ and how He can change people's lives."
Graham's sermon message was simple: the power of Jesus' cross. He'd used stories from the Old and New Testaments and would connect them back to the power of the Cross.
"That's what changes lives," Graham stated.
After the sermons were over, Graham invited those who wanted to commit their life to Jesus to come forward to the stage. This allowed him to see the visible movement of those who had been touched by the Holy Spirit. The people who came up were met by pre-trained counselors from the local churches that also spoke the local language, Pidgen. The Counselors took the individuals to a tent behind the stage where they would spiritually counsel them and get their contact information so that local churches can follow up and continue guiding them spiritually.
In addition to the successful evangelism festival, the Grahams also participated in the first- ever Operation Christmas Child distribution in the Western Highlands. Operation Christmas Child is a charity distribution of old shoeboxes filled with donated gifts for boys and girls in physical need. Operation Christmas Child is a part of the Samartan's Purse Christian humanitarian organization, which is headed by Franklin Graham, the father of Will Graham.