ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay—Joining with hundreds of local churches and thousands of followers of Jesus Christ, world evangelists Luis and Andrew Palau hosted an evangelistic campaign in two Paraguayan cities on April 23-28, 2012. Their efforts reached every sector of society from young people to the National Congress.
After a series of preliminary events across Asunción and a stand-alone festival in Ciudad del Este with Andrew Palau, the campaign came to a head as Luis Palau and hundreds of local churches came together to hold a two-night, open-air music festival in the heart of the capital city on Friday and Saturday. Latin American artists such as Rescate and Alejandro Lerner performed; well-known soccer players Maxi Biancucchi and Javier Alejandro Villarreal shared how God transformed their lives; and Luis and Andrew Palau both presented clear Gospel messages with an opportunity to respond and connect with a counselor for follow-up.
This youthful vibe and billing was no accident. “Seventy-three percent of Paraguay’s population is under 35. Our youth is writing the story of this country,” said Santiago Maldonado, president of Paraguay’s National Association of Evangelical Pastors and member of the festival executive committee. “We need to lift them up. They are the protagonists of this campaign.”
More than 80,000 people attended the final event on Saturday evening; 70,000 attended on Friday. At the beginning of his Gospel-centered message each night, Luis Palau explained that he hoped what he had to say would particularly inspire youth under 25, who comprised more than half of the audience. While response cards are still being counted, early numbers indicate that more than 12,000 people made a decision for Jesus Christ during the week’s events. The festival was broadcast live on two national TV networks and around the world via the Internet.
On Thursday, Palau and his team visited the Paraguayan National Congress’ chamber of senators and chamber of deputies at the invitation of Jorge Oviedo Matto, president of the congress. The visit marked the first time any public figure was allowed to speak while congress was in session.
Palau also met with the country’s Vice President Federico Franco, the mayor of Asunción, members of the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Defense. “Our objective was to elevate the gaze of leaders to their spiritual lives, to moral ethics and values,” Palau said. “I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to meet and pray with several of the country’s top national leaders.”
The festival in Ciudad del Este with Andrew Palau led more than 1,770 people in public decisions for Jesus Christ and connected them to a local partnering church. The younger Palau, who also spoke on both nights of the festival in Asunción, said he sees this campaign as only the beginning of the team’s partnership with Paraguay. “I can’t help but think that the best is yet to come and that we’ll have many more opportunities to serve in Paraguay,” he said.
Luis Palau previously hosted campaigns in Paraguay in 1976, 1980, 1982 and 1994. Several of the church leaders and entertainers who helped plan the festival first accepted Jesus Christ during one of these campaigns, including this festival’s emcee, national radio personality Oscar Vazquez.
Luis Palau has brought a message of hope through faith in Jesus Christ to more than 1 billion people through radio, television, the Internet, books and articles, including 30 million people face-to-face in 74 nations. Palau’s daily radio broadcasts are heard by tens of millions of listeners on more than 3,500 radio outlets in 48 countries. He is the author of more than 40 books and countless articles on issues of faith.