The Christian Post
January 10, 2011
Katherine T. Phan
Franklin Graham preached the Gospel of Christ to survivors of
the Haiti earthquake Sunday, offering hope and compassion to a
crowd of tens of thousands who had experienced devastation and
death during the past year.
"We pray for you. We pray that God will cover you with His
mercy. We know how difficult it is for you as you remember," said
Graham, speaking at the National Soccer Stadium in Port-Au
The Festival of Hope was the first major evangelistic event for
Graham in Haiti.
Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and
humanitarian ministry Samaritan's Purse, last made a visit to the
country last month when he and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin
handed out shoe boxes filled with Christmas gifts to children of
With the one-year mark of the massive earthquake approaching,
Graham asked those in the crowd how many have lost family or loved
ones in the earthquake. He comforted them, saying that God
understands the grief of losing a son.
"God understands your grief. His son died for your sins. That's
how much God loves you," he said.
The evangelist went on to preach a message of hope that is found
in Christ alone, based on the beloved text of John 3:16.
"That God so loved Haiti that He gave his begotten son and that
if Haiti believes in Him, Haiti will not perish but will have
everlasting life," said Graham.
As he taught about creation, sin, judgment and salvation, the
preacher compared the epidemic of sin to the recent outbreak of
cholera in the country.
"Cholera has come into your country and infected your people.
Many have died and many are sick. But sin has affected not only you
but the entire human race. The entire human race has been infected
and is under the death sentence," explained Graham.
"But if you are willing to receive Christ today by faith, God
will forgive you and cleanse you of your sins," he continued. "Will
you trust Him today?"
Hundreds came forward to the stage and responded to the
invitation to receive Christ. Volunteers handed out Gospel tracts
and prayed together with them.
Thousands more in Haiti and around the world also listened to
the event by radio and live webcast.
The festival was organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association in response to an invitation by 75 Haitian pastors for
Franklin Graham to come speak. Nearly 500 local churches
representing 93 denominations throughout Haiti banded together to
conduct the event.
Before Graham took the stage, Christian music artists Michael W.
Smith led the audience in worship, singing popular praise songs
like "Hallelujah" and "Above All."
Christian rap artist Lecrae Moore performed a hip hop song
inspired by his visit to Haiti last February. He also gave his
personal testimony on how becoming a Christian changed him.
"My life was so bad that all I looked forward to was another
day," said Lecrae. "But someone who was perfect died for my sins,
paid the cost for me and that's why I do what I do. So now, I no
longer admire the gangster, I admire the godly man."
Both Smith and Lecrae contributed to "Healing4Haiti," a
compilation album by Integrity Music whose profits benefited
earthquake survivors in Haiti. Smith co-wrote the song "Come
Together Now" together with David Mullen and Cindy Morgan.
A Haitian worship team also led the audience in praise music,
sung in both Creole and English.
The day before the festival, Graham had visited several
Samaritan's Purse programs in Haiti, including a cholera treatment
center and shelter and clean water projects.
The relief organization has provided medical treatment to more
than 7,500 patients since the cholera epidemic struck the nation
last October. Teams have also set up over 10,000 temporary
shelters, 36 community water filters each providing 10,000 gallons
of clean water a day and distributed nearly 9,000 metric tons of
food. Additionally, at least 1,000 Haitians have received
employment by joining as staff of Samaritan's Purse.
Chaplains belonging to BGEA, which had a Rapid Response Team on
the ground in Haiti within 20 hours of the Jan. 12 quake, have been
ministering to the spiritual needs of the people, reaching over
17,000 people. The organization is also training local churches for
BGEA is also preparing to launch its My Hope evangelism project
in July 2011, which will provide translated Christian programming
to Haiti viewers.
Haitians will hold a National Day of Prayer and Fasting on Jan.
12 in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada