By Aaron Sseruyigo
KAMPALA – Nearly 7,000 people said yes to new life, hope and freedom with Jesus Christ during a gospel event organised by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) over the weekend in Philippines.
The two-day ‘Greater Pangasinan Celebration’ commenced Will Graham’s two-week evangelistic tour in the Southeast Asian country where more than 2.6 million people call home.
According to BGEA, more than 17,000 people gathered in the Pangasinan city of Lingayen for the first evening of Will Graham’s evangelistic tour with Governor Amado Espino III saying he believes the Gospel message will lead to “more love, more hope, more happiness and of course, stronger families.”
The event took place at the Narciso Ramos Sports Complex, which sits some 140 miles northwest of Manila, along the Lingayen Gulf.
Pangasinan is the third largest province in the Philippine Archipelago, occupying more than 536,000 hectares of land. The province gets its name from its rich salt beds; pangasinan meaning “where salt is made.”
In a place where many people are “religious,” BGEA reports that Will Graham’s messages focused on man’s sinful nature and our eternal need for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Salvation is not a deed, a ritual or a church. Salvation is a Person, and His name is Jesus.” Will proclaimed. “Salvation is not based on good works. There’s nothing you can do to save yourself. Salvation comes by faith in Christ alone.”
The reported salvation decisions, according to BGEA, represent almost 20 percent of the 35,300 who attended the Celebration events.
They sprang from their seats and streamed forward. Children and teens, parents and grandparents. Will Graham had given them the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus—and they weren’t going to miss their chance.
Myra Jalique, a pastor and missionary, she served as the liaison for the Celebration, working closely with the local government spoke to BGEA.
“I am just overwhelmed with joy. I can’t really explain it. Lord, thank You for the harvest,” she shared. “This is really what it’s about. I understand God’s mercy and grace that He’s bestowed on me, and I want it for our people.”
“Only the Spirit of God draws these people. It doesn’t matter what the reason is,” Myra said. “God has already prepared their hearts awhile back, so they would answer to respond to the Gospel.”
Myra sees this having a lasting, eternal impact on the province and beyond. “This could have a rippling effect to other provinces, because we tend to set the trend, if you will,” she said.“This can be so much more, not just for Pangasinan but for the nation.”