After many months of planning and much prayer, on June 20th the city of Lviv in western Ukraine celebrated its Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham. The event included a 2,800-member choir of local worshippers. The stadium’s 35,000 seats filled quickly, and extra songs were added to the early part of the service to allow people in cars and buses still lined up on streets outside to find a place inside.
Eventually 39,000 Ukrainians overflowed onto the football pitch. Franklin Graham’s message was focused on the Prodigal Son. It had rained all day Saturday leading up to the Festival but, by the time Franklin began to preach, a blue sky appeared amid the clouds above the open-air stadium. Valeriy Antonyuk, the head of the Baptist denomination in Ukraine, said: “Right now, our people are not in a good situation; they have many problems… but they have a thirst for God.” Antonyuk was seated next to Franklin on the platform and had an ideal view of the droves of people who came forward to pray, many of whom he said were probably young soldiers who had served in the war against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.
“A lot of people were kneeling in front of the stage,” he said. “I saw tears in their eyes. It’s a great joy for me to see so many of them come to know Christ tonight. It was a special work of the Holy Spirit.” Volodya and Oxana Karpyak, who have been married for nine years, served as counsellors and were blessed to lead seven people in the prayer for salvation. It was Oxana’s birthday, and she said the harvest she witnessed on this night was the best present she could ever have received. “I am filled with emotions,” she said.
Source: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Bible Study: Psalm 74:10-12
PRAISE God that the people of this war-torn nation are hungry for Him and so many responded in Lviv. Pray for His peace to spread throughout the land.