Franklin Graham: You Prayed for Australia, and God Answered Mightily

By   •   March 1, 2019

Dear Friend,

God has done a great work across Australia. We just returned from preaching the in six cities on the 60th anniversary of my father’s 1959 Crusades there and the first anniversary of his homegoing to Heaven. All across the continent, we witnessed the power of the Gospel at work.

We thank God for transforming hearts and lives at every event, in all six cities, over the course of three weeks. Friends like you were praying for this evangelistic tour, and it is exciting to report that tens of thousands of people came out to hear about God’s love and the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. We praise God that so many surrendered their hearts to Christ in repentance and faith. To Him be the glory!

Franklin Graham preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in six cities across Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of Billy Graham’s historic Crusades there.

Perth

Our first stop was in Perth, on Australia’s far west coast, where more than 13,000 people filled the arena. When I gave the invitation to make a life-changing decision for Christ, hundreds headed to the front to talk and pray with our trained prayer volunteers.

More than 45 percent of those who responded were age 25 and under. Jo, one of the prayer volunteers, said afterwards that she had wondered if one message preached in an arena could really make a difference. But when she saw the crowd of people coming forward, she began to weep for joy to see God at work through the power of . She talked and prayed with three teenage girls, all the same age as her daughter, who wanted to give their lives to Jesus Christ. “They now have the rest of their lives to live for Him,” she said. “That’s all it takes is that one simple message!”

A chef named David was once a church attender, but had drifted far from God. He came to our meeting in Perth and listened. “I felt there was a burden,” he said later, “something heavy in my heart.” He hesitated to respond to the invitation, but the burden kept getting heavier, and he realized that he had been carrying this weight for a long time. He knew that only Jesus Christ could free him. “So I made my decision to come down.”

A prayer volunteer went back over the Gospel to be sure David understood before he prayed to . The volunteer gave him our discipleship materials—including personal Bible studies, memory verses, and the Gospel of John—and arranged for follow-up by a church where he can grow in his faith.

Darwin

We next went to Darwin, a small city in the Northern Territory just across the Timor Sea from Indonesia. It’s a tough place—very hot, with swamps, crocodiles, and a culture of alcohol use and abuse. The arena in Darwin is not large. The night I preached, it was jam packed with more than 3,000 people. The owner said they had never in their history had a crowd that large for an alcohol-free event.

We praise God that 346 people came forward in response to the invitation to . In a radius of 200 miles around the city of Darwin, only about 2,000 people attend church. Can you imagine the impact this number of new believers can have on the area’s churches? Pray for each new follower of Christ and for the churches as they follow up.

The Gospel doesn’t need help—just proclaim it. God does the rest.

It is my prayer that these events will also show the churches that proclamation evangelism works. Some younger pastors feel the Gospel is old fashioned and giving an invitation doesn’t work; but that’s not true. I don’t understand the power of the Gospel, but I know that it works. The Gospel doesn’t need help—just proclaim it. God does the rest. One news reporter asked me, “But is it relevant?” I said, “Come tonight and see.”

There’s a U.S. military base on the outskirts of Darwin, and an American serviceman came to the meeting with his wife and three children. All five came forward at the invitation to make a decision for Christ. It was an incredible evening as we witnessed hearts—young and old—transformed by the power of the Gospel.

Melbourne

On our third stop, the crowd packed Melbourne Arena to capacity.
When the arena authorities wouldn’t let any more people in, Steve Grace, an Australian Christian musician who took part in our tour, went outside and performed an impromptu concert and ministered to the overflow audience.

Steve Grace led an impromptu worship session for those who couldn’t get a seat inside the crowded arena.

Inside the arena, hundreds came forward at the Ray is a college-age young man who walked down and spoke to a prayer volunteer. He said that five years ago God had called him to give his life to Jesus Christ, but he didn’t do it. Then just two weeks before our Melbourne meeting, he finally went to church, where someone immediately invited him to attend our tour event.

He heard me preach from 2 Kings about Manasseh, a king of Israel who wasted many years before he finally turned his heart to God. Ray didn’t want to waste any more years—he knew it was time for him to make his decision. The prayer volunteer made sure Ray understood what it meant to put his trust and faith in Jesus, and then Ray prayed. The volunteer gave him our discipleship resources and talked with him about becoming regular in the church that had invited him. Afterwards, the volunteer’s face was radiant as he looked at all the people around him praying to receive Christ. “It’s amazing,” he said. “A ripper of a night for the Kingdom of God!”

Brisbane

In Brisbane, we gathered in an open-air amphitheater at the city’s beautiful botanical gardens. The seating area filled up and many sat on blankets on the hillside to hear the music and the message. Twyla and Priscilla, two college friends, learned about our event from a pop-up ad on Facebook. They were looking for something to do and thought, why not? They listened to the Gospel, and God begin to stir deep within. At the invitation both surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Some believers in the crowd danced for joy as they watched the hundreds like Twyla and Priscilla crowding forward to make decisions for Christ.

Thousands of people heard the Gospel in Brisbane.

Adelaide

In Adelaide, a crowd again overflowed the arena. Many responded to the Gospel—including some of those who couldn’t get in and watched on a large TV screen outside. Finda had believed in God for a while and, in the last year, even started taking her boys to church. On this night, though, she felt God inviting her into a personal relationship with Him. “It was time to ask God for forgiveness,” she said later, adding with a big smile, “I feel lighter.” Her 10-year-old son joined her in responding to the invitation to accept Christ.

Sydney

The tour concluded in Sydney with two nights of music and preaching. Sydney is home to people from more than 180 countries, and we saw many nationalities among the 15,300 people who attended the evangelistic events. Elizabeth, an Australian-born Argentinian, felt a flood of emotion when her husband—from Lebanon—and a friend both left their seats, with hundreds of others, to make decisions for Jesus Christ in response to the invitation. “It was so awesome to see so many souls come to God in one place,” Elizabeth said. “We all became part of one family.”

So many across Australia and around the world, including America, still need Jesus. Time is short—the Lord is returning soon. “We must work … while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4, ESV).

Will Graham in the Philippines

While I was preaching in Australia, my son Will Graham was leading a series of evangelistic events in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Will Graham preaching the Gospel, with the help of an interpreter, in the Philippines.

More than 1,600 area churches worked together to bring as many unsaved people as possible to hear the Gospel during that regionwide outreach, and God did a mighty work in hearts. Tens of thousands attended, and we thank and praise God for the large number of people who responded to , turning to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Easter in Colombia

Pray for me as we go at Easter to a city called Cúcuta in Colombia, South America. The churches there are so excited that we are coming! This is an area of violence, threats and corruption—so much has changed in that part of the world. But we must continue to represent the King of kings and the Lord of lords wherever He sends us, and I will preach the Gospel truth just as I did in Australia.

We will be sharing an Easter message with people there—that God loves them and sacrificed His Son for them, and that He now stands with arms wide open inviting the lost to .

New England and Upstate New York

A few weeks after Cúcuta, I will begin a tour of seven U.S. cities in New England and upstate New York on our . I count on your prayers.

We are grateful for your support. Without the prayers and financial help of friends like you, we could not do the work God has called us to do. You are generous and faithful, and I thank God for all you do as you serve Him.

May God richly bless you,
Franklin Graham Signature
Franklin Graham
President