More than 23,000 heard the Gospel and 1,396 made the decision to give their live to Christ during a two-day Franklin Graham Festival over the weekend in Cambodia, a nation that is 98 percent Buddhist.
“Did you know that you have a soul?” Graham asked the crowd. “One day you will die, but your soul continues to live. Your soul will live in the presence of God, or it will be separated from God. The decision you make tonight will decide where your soul will spend eternity.”
The “Love Phnom Penh Festival with Franklin Graham” was held Dec. 7-8 in the same country where Christianity was nearly eliminated during the Khmer Rouge – a genocide in the 1970s that sought to eliminate religion and develop a “master race” under the leadership of Pol Pot. It was the focus of the film The Killing Fields. An estimated 2 million people died, and only about 200 Christians survived the atrocities, according to a press release. Missionaries fled during the genocide.
Local Christian leaders say the Festival had a major impact. It was the largest Christian outreach ever in the country, with 23,700 attending, Christian Newswire reports.
“The Holy Spirit has touched our city and entire land. We are thankful that people heard the Gospel that Jesus is the Truth, Way and Life,” said Sin Somnang, pastor of Fellowship Church of Pochentong and the Festival’s general chairman. “This will be a blessing for our country and our spiritual legacy to be remembered for the next generation through the Festival.”
Among those who made a decision for Christ was 59-year-old Chhimreth. She had heard of Jesus before, but had not made Him Lord of her life.
“I feel very happy and joyful,” Chhimreth said through a translator.
Local churches will follow up with those who made decisions.
“We pray this [Festival] will open the door for more of the Lord’s work in the future,” Graham said.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Billy Graham Evangelical Association
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.