They came by the busload from all over England and Wales to hear a Gospel message. Approximately 130 coaches carried 5,000 people to the outreach from as far away as Liverpool.
People streamed out of buses and trains into ExCeL London, eager to hear powerful music from Christian artists—Ce Ce Winans, Newsboys, and Michael W. Smith—and a message of hope from Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
The evangelist returned to London, England, after last summer’s outreach, and more than 10,000 heard him preach the Good News on Saturday evening. The crowd exceeded last year’s attendance by several thousand.
“I believe there are people here who have hurting hearts,” Franklin Graham told the crowd.
“A lot of people have been searching and looking and trying to find purpose to what their life is all about.
“I’m here to say to you tonight, God loves you!” he said. “He sent His Son Jesus Christ from Heaven to this earth to save you from your sins.”
Linda James rode the bus 3 ½ hours to hear that truth and said the long trip didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. “Everyone on the coach was excited,” she said.
Hundreds of congregations across England encouraged their members to invite and bring people to hear the life-changing Gospel message.
“My hope is that we see people [surrender their lives to Christ] for the first time,” Linda said. “And for people perhaps who aren’t walking closely with God, it’s an opportunity to rededicate themselves to the Lord.”
‘A Picture of God’s Love’
Franklin Graham recounted the Biblical story of how the Prodigal Son repented of his wrongdoing and returned to his father—who welcomed him with open arms.
“The story that God told is a picture of God’s love for you and His love for the human race,” said Franklin Graham. “God loves you.”
After smoking crack for 30 years, Nathaniel* was now clean, but he didn’t know real freedom until Saturday. He heard about the God Loves You Tour from a friend and decided to go.
After hearing the Gospel, he prayed in repentance and faith to receive Jesus Christ. Afterward, he talked to Aaron, a prayer team member he felt an immediate connection with.
“I shared my own story about why I am a Christian,” said Aaron, “and what my hope is.”
A Shift in London
Prayer team volunteer Steve Johnson knows that, like Nathaniel, no one is beyond God’s reach. Once an avowed atheist, he became a Christian 30 years ago and today is doing street ministry.
Seeing a shift in London’s spiritual climate, Johnson is hopeful.
“I’ve seen things go from a very cynical, secular mindset and gradually change, especially with this younger generation that’s been saturated with social media,” he said.
“They’re looking at people showing their Instagram face and realizing, ‘This isn’t real. This is curated. This is not who you really are.’
“I’ve found a lot of young people in particular, saying, ‘What’s real? Is anything real?’ And they’re genuinely asking questions [about faith in God].”
Johnson also points to the cost of living crisis, COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine as factors.
“People are looking for answers,” he said. “They see something is wrong. They see this dark, black cloud.
“I believe there are seasons where God just opens up things and the church has been praying for it.
“That season’s now … and we’ve got to respond now. The door’s open to us now.”
Will you pray for the hundreds who made decisions for Jesus Christ during the God Loves You Tour in London? Pray that the God will use them—and Christians like them—all across England to boldly share the Good News of His Son.