Thank you for all your prayers for the recent Franklin Graham Festival in the Ukraine.
Walking into a country at war definitely has its share of concerns. At the same time we felt peace because we knew you were covering us in prayer.
I know Franklin does not consider himself a prophet, but I vividly remember at devotions a few years ago, he made a prophetic statement. He said the window has opened for us to spread the gospel in Eastern Europe and we are going to take the opportunity. He also went on to say he did not know how long the door would remain open, and he was 100% right. That door is shutting rapidly and in my opinion could be closed very soon. Praise God we were able to get in.
Ukraine used to be a part of the former Soviet Union and as you can tell efforts are under way to take it back by every means necessary. There is much more fighting taking place than the media is reporting and the death toll on both sides is very high. Unless God intervenes, we are looking at a major situation that has the potential to affect the entire world.
This Festival was held in Lviv a few hours from the epicenter of the main fighting, and we met many people whose lives were impacted by the war.
As soon as I got to orchestra rehearsal, I met a gentleman from Donetsk who wanted to share his plight. He lost everything in the war but still had his love for Jesus. I also met Kovchek an incredible singing group from the same town who lost everything too. War is ugly and if there is a time to really pray and seek God it’s now.
After much prayer and practice we were all charged up and ready to go. With a 100 piece orchestra, a 2800 voice choir, and musicians from all over Europe we were ready to take the city.
I want to make special mention of Dr Stephen Benham who directed the choir and orchestra. This was his 50th trip to the Ukraine. On his first trip, there were not many Christian musicians in the country. Now to see the sight and hear the sound of this many musicians praising God must have made him godly proud. God used Dr Benham to impact the Ukraine and I have him all lined up with Gods help to do the same in Jamaica. Everyone in Jamaica get ready! With Dr Benham as well as Dr Warren Anderson and the Judson University worship arts department, we have major plans for Jamaica. We will keep you posted.
For the Festival we had no idea how many people would show up so we waited with baited breath. The stadium seats 45,000 people and to our surprise 49,000 showed up. When Franklin gave the altar call 1,981 made commitments to Christ and of that number 1,693 were making decisions for the first time. Can I get an amen 🙂
Sitting at the piano seeing all the people giving their hearts to Jesus never gets old. I feel like one of the luckiest (well blessed) man to be doing what I am doing. I am at a loss for words trying the describe the scene. Seeing people of all ages at the altar weeping giving their hearts to Jesus makes every trip worth it. To God be the glory.
If you want to see pictures, just go to my face book page and click on the photos tab. I have posted a photo album called Lviv Ukraine. If we are not friends yet, just send me a request and I will confirm you. Here is a link.
Here are a few videos from the Festival.
God bless you richly, thanks again for all your prayers.
Rev Huntley Brown
International Concert Pianist