Over 6000 Kiwis attended the first stop of the God Loves You Tour on Saturday in Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand.
Franklin Graham’s God Loves You Tour is headed to the same cities as his father’s 1959 Crusade in New Zealand—but it’s reaching a new generation that locals say are facing anxiety and hopelessness following the global pandemic.
Yet, many of the New Zealand children who attended Saturday’s evangelistic event worshiped God with their whole hearts. “I feel there is a new generation rising. We’re even seeing it in our church. The kids are the first up [to] the front,” said Jaana Joseph, a prayer counselor. “Their worship is from a place of not just doing what they think they need to do. They are truly worshiping the Lord. I think we are seeing a new generation rising up who love God and are unashamed.”
“You can reset your life tonight by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ,” said Franklin Graham, sharing the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19.
As Jeremy Camp led worship, hundreds of people came to the front of the stage—mostly children—to praise their Heavenly Father.
Believers worship at the outreach that one pastor described as the largest Christian event in Christchurch in the last 25 years.
Inside Christchurch Arena, God moved in the lives of many,” Franklin Graham posted on his social media: “We thank God for every heart that was touched, every life that was changed, and every person—young and old—who responded to the invitation to turn from their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dennis Agajanian kicked off the evening with his fast-picking guitar playing and belting Gospel lyrics, like “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.”
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” —Matthew 19:14, ESV
“New Zealand needs Jesus. Jesus brings hope. He brings love. He sets the captives free,” said Nityana, a God Loves You Tour volunteer. “Right now in New Zealand, that’s what we need, from our youth especially.”
Those who came forward prayed with volunteer counselors and received helpful materials to help them grow in their faith. Afterward, it was time to celebrate. The band, The Afters, welcomed some attendees on stage with them as they marked the joyous moment with song.
The beautiful melodies and lyrics sung by the Tommy Coomes Band encouraged the crowd to recognize the power of Jesus’ Name.
As Franklin Graham travels to share the Gospel in Wellington (Nov. 16), will you pray for those who chose to follow Jesus in Christchurch? Pray that they will continue to seek the Lord and grow in their walk with Him.
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