In Milan, Italy an historic event took place. Over 600 people made a decision for Jesus and more than 250 churches came together to hear Franklin Graham preach the gospel message to over 3000 Italians. One of the committee member said they had never seen something like this.
Unusual unity between churches
According to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) there was a remarkable unity in churches to reach Italy with the gospel with over 520 participating churches. Due to the high amount of people gathered at the Noi Festival in the Mediolanum Forum, there was only space to stand which made it the biggest crowd ever hosted in the facility.
The unity between churches started during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2020, the humanitarian aid organization ‘Samaritan’s Purse’ opened an Emergency Field Hospital to take care of people suffering from COVID. A team of chaplains from the BGEA worked in the hospital and helped to unite churches in the region to share the gospel. Pastors connected and friendships were build. ‘We can expect more events in the future’, says Gerry Testori, a Festival committee member.
Pastors in the northern part of Milan are praying with pastors in the south, this is a blessing for our nation”Gerry Testori, Committee member
‘You must become born again’
Evangelist Franklin Graham spoke to the crowd of hungry believers: “There are many people here with hungry hearts, many who have been searching for peace in their lives, I’m here to tell you that God loves you, and you can find that purpose for your life by putting your faith and trust in God’s Son Jesus Christ. He came from heaven to this earth to save us from our sins.” When the invitation came to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ, hundreds responded and made their way to the front.
Relationship over religion
One of the testimonies the Billy Graham Evangelistic association published is about Rosa. She is fifty years old and wasn’t very religious, she only attended church at Christmas and Easter out of tradition. Her Uncle knew the Noi Festival was something that could change Rosa’s eternal destiny forever.’ Rosa came forward on Graham’s gospel invitation. Franklin Graham shared from the stage that he wasn’t interested in talking to the crowd about a religion.
“I’ve met a lot of people who are religious but don’t have a relationship with God, religion is not enough. You cannot work for your salvation and you cannot buy it.”Franklin Graham
According to Franklin Graham it is only through believing in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, that you can secure your eternity with Him. Tears filled Rosa’s eyes as she made her way to the front of the arena. When she went to the ministry team she said she could feel the presence of God right behind her.