On Sunday, Evangelist Franklin Graham embarked on a 14-day "God Loves You Tour," where he will be sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in eight U.S. cities across the iconic route 66.
Graham, the president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), began the tour by preaching to 8,700 people at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. As he preached, Graham reminded the audience that God loves them regardless of what happens in the world.
Tonight on the 1st stop of the #Route66 God Loves You Tour in Joliet, IL, I told the crowd that I’m going along this historic highway to remind people that God loves them & that He hasn’t turned His back on them. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/5jG60waqL1— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) September 20, 2021
"Many people are afraid. Many people are scared," Graham told attendees. "Many people don't know what to do. Twenty years ago, 9/11 changed the world. In 2020, the pandemic changed the world. I'm here to tell you ... God loves you."
According to CBN News, Sunday's event was the first time in 18 months that Graham has spoken to a large-scale event due to the pandemic. Accompanying him on tour are Christian music band Newsboys and Hispanic artists Marcos Witt and Dennis Agajanian.
According to the BGEA, a neighborhood evangelist, Angel Rocham, brought nine people to the God Loves You Tour, where two of them surrendered their lives to Christ.
"When you understand the love of God, you don't want to stop telling other people," Rocham told the organization. "It's the only thing you're going to take to heaven."
Another attendee, Lori, plans to go to all eight stops on the tour with her 20-year-old daughter, McKenna. Lori had previously served on BGEA's Search For Jesus online ministry.
"I can't tell you how excited I am," she said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'm humbled that God entrusts us to share our faith with others. And it's priceless to be able to do it with her."
The God Loves You Tour runs from Sept. 19 to Oct. 2. As of this writing, the next stop is at the World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, Missouri, on Tuesday. The tour will also stop in Springfield, MO; Oklahoma City, OK; Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; Flagstaff, AZ; and San Bernardino, CA.
On Monday, Graham's son, Will Graham, announced that he will be hosting outreaches in Rapid City and Des Moines while his father preaches on the tour.
"Over the coming weeks, my father @Franklin_Graham and I will share the hope of Jesus across the country," he tweeted. "He'll preach in cities along historic Route 66, and I'll hold outreaches in Rapid City and Des Moines. May Christ be glorified and may many call upon His Name as Savior."
Over the coming weeks, my father @Franklin_Graham and I will share the hope of Jesus across the country. He’ll preach in cities along historic Route 66, and I’ll hold outreaches in Rapid City and Des Moines. May Christ be glorified and may many call upon His Name as Savior. #Pray— Will Graham (@WillGraham_4) September 20, 2021
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.