- (Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
More than 12,000 people attended Will Graham's final evangelistic Celebration event of the year where more than 800 people in the primarily Buddhist nation of Thailand committed their lives to Christ.
The three-day event, titled "Celebration Abundant Life with Will Graham," was held in Nong Prajak Public Park in Udon Thani on Nov. 1-3.
"The abundant life you're looking for cannot be obtained on your own. That's why God sent His Son on a rescue mission to save us," Graham told the crowd, according to a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association press release. "Some of you are looking for answers in life. Deep down you feel something is missing. Jesus is what's missing. He's the only One who can fill you."
Thailand is populated by approximately 67.4 million people, according to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook. A 2000 census found that 94.6 percent of the population is Buddhist, 4.6 percent is Muslim and less than one percent is Christian, the Factbook says.
CP previously interviewed Graham to discuss his success at gathering people to orthodox Christianity. During that interview, the evangelist said that when he speaks to people of other cultures he focuses his message not on their beliefs, but on Jesus.
"One of the key things I've tried not to do is to bash other religions," he said at the time. "I will make distinctions, at times, but I never try to make them feel bad for what they believe. I want to present Jesus. Jesus will convict them…"
Graham's Celebration in Thailand was his third outreach to the Thai people. His first evangelistic event there, the Chiang Rai Festival of Peace, was attended by about 16,000 people, and last year the Nakhon Si Thammarat Celebration drew about 4,750 attendees.
This year, he also took his multiple-day Celebrations to Kenya and Japan.
Graham is a third generation evangelist under the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), having followed in the footsteps of his father, Franklin Graham, and his grandfather, Billy Graham. Franklin Graham will hold an evangelistic Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Nov. 22-24.
In addition to speaking at events around the world, Will Graham is also the vice president of the BGEA and oversees Children and Youth Evangelism Training for the organization. He also serves as the executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, a 1,200 acre Christian retreat in Asheville, N.C., where believers gather to study the Bible and listen to Christian speakers.
Next year, Graham will hold an evangelistic event in Clinton, Miss., as well as internationally in Japan, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.