Nearly 53 years after evangelist Billy Graham preached to the people of Kisumu, Kenya, his grandson, Will Graham, returned to carry forth the same message of hope through Jesus Christ.
The Will Graham Celebration of Peace was held June 7-9 at Kisumu's open-air Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground.
According to a news release from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), about 21,000 attended the three-day event, with more than 1,350 responding to the invitation to make a commitment to Jesus. The event received an outpouring of support in the city, with every church and bishop in Kisumu participating in the outreach.
"The only thing that can change Kisumu forever is God," said Graham in the news release. "There is only one hope for any of us, and that is Jesus Christ. He is the only One able to save you from your situations."
The news release said Graham was joined on-stage by local choirs and artists like Everlyne Muthoka and Rosemary Ogonya, as well as American soloist Mark Christian who serves as worship leader for Will Graham Celebrations.
This is Graham's second evangelistic effort in Kenya, following a three-day celebration in July 2011 in the city of Nakuru.
"From time to time God puts a love and a burden for a specific country on my heart, and Kenya is one of those countries," Graham said. "It is an honor for me to be able to visit Kenya and share the eternal hope of Christ with them."
According to the news release, while in Kisumu, Graham met with local Christian and civic leaders, including Governor Jack Ranguma of Kisumu County.
Graham also attended a local youth soccer tournament, where he presented trophies and offered a brief sermon following the event.
The Will Graham Celebration of Peace in Kisumu was actually birthed through meetings that Graham held with local representatives while he was in Nakuru.
During his current trip to Kisumu, the news release said Graham visited with leaders from Tanzania and Uganda to discuss future ministry opportunities in their countries.
Graham will hold two more international evangelistic outreaches in 2013. Sept. 27-29 in Fukushima, Japan, and Nov. 1-3 in Udon Thani, Thailand.
An announcement about upcoming ministry in the United States will also be made in the coming months.