For the first time since COVID-19 halted global travel two years ago, Franklin Graham and his son Will are resuming their international preaching schedules this month in the United Kingdom and Australia.
“We want all people to know that God loves them and everlasting life is available to anyone,” Franklin said. “This remains the purpose for every BGEA event, and it is why we have named the rescheduled 2020 Tour the ‘God Loves You Tour—U.K.’”
The U.K. outreach will kick off in Liverpool, England, on May 14, with additional stops in South Wales on May 21; Sheffield, England on May 25; and London on July 16. The Newsboys will lead worship during the first three U.K. tour stops, followed by CeCe Winans and Michael W. Smith in London.
For months, volunteers from hundreds of churches near each event region have met together regularly for prayer, worship and training in evangelism and discipleship in preparation for a harvest of souls.
Neville Martin is longing for a movement of God in Sheffield, England, like the one that led him and his wife to publicly profess their faith in Christ when Billy Graham preached there in 1985. Citing BGEA ministry statistics showing that 80% of respondents to the Gospel at mass events are invited by a friend, just like he and his wife were 37 years ago, Martin has emailed personal invitations to 450 people.
“We need a move of God to em-power our communities,” said Martin, a member of Followers of The Way Church, “that the Holy Spirit may breathe life afresh into local churches, that the spirit of evangelism will be reborn in our communities, and the Spirit of the living Christ will walk again through our streets.”
Kevin Berthiaume, a California native and lead pastor of Calvary Chapel in the South Wales town of Cardiff, said that teaching the Christian Life & Witness Course to dozens of volunteers has renewed his hope that the church will have a “transforming influence on the culture.” He said many churches across Wales fear man more than God. “All manner of sexual sin and deviant behavior is not only permissible but condoned in many churches,” he lamented.
The Tasmania Celebration with Will Graham will be held on May 21 at the MyState Bank Arena in Hobart and May 27-29 at the Silverdome in Launceston. Tasmania is an Australian island state that sits off the continent’s south coast.
Throughout much of June, the capital city of Hobart is scheduled to host a music and arts festival that includes the display of inverted crosses illuminated in red throughout the city. “Local pastors describe Tasmania as a very unique, spiritually dark place,” Will said.
Tasmania has the highest number of atheists per capita in Australia, according to Andrew Corbett, co-chair of the Will Graham Celebration executive leadership team in Launceston. “The lasting impact of the Celebration preparation will be the continued unity and cooperation among church leaders and the knowledge that we can evangelize our communities despite their apparent resistance to the Gospel,” said Corbett, pastor of Legana Christian Church.
Andrew Goelst, community action project coordinator for the Launceston Celebration, said that volunteers have installed a landscaped garden for a local youth ministry center that should help churches serve the community rampant with domestic violence, child abuse, youth suicides and drug use.
“I am praying for many hundreds to be saved [and that it] will have a multi-generational impact,” Goelst said.
Above: Constitution Dock in Hobart, the capital city of the Australian state of Tasmania.