Festival Day 2: On the second night of Manado CityFest, Andrew gave a strong and passionate plea for all those in the crowd to be reconciled to Christ. The Lord did a great work in the city. Dave Lubben led the crowd in worship, and the festival venue was packed with people. Many listened intently to Andrew's message and responded!
Festival Day 1: Hands were raised across the crowd during the first night of Manado CityFest as many people responded to the Good News! Salem Choir, Dave Lubben, and Cherrybelle set the stage for Andrew and got the crowd excited for a great presentation of the Good News. After Andrew's message, many people responded to Christ to the point that decision counselors struggled to reach all those who had raised their hands in the dense crowd. Andrew and the team are rejoicing as God is at work in the hearts of many people, young and old! Local pastors and a follow-up team will collect the response cards and begin distributing them to local churches, in order to connect new believers with a church community. Keep praying as the team now looks to Day 2 of the festival, with the hopes of even more people coming to know Jesus!
Thursday: On Thursday, Andrew and the team attended "Mall Fest," which was sponsored by the faculty of economics and business at the local university. The program included singing from Salem Choir and Dave Lubben, action sports and a specific message from Andrew geared towards students. Many students responded to the Good News! Watch a video report from Thursday with Andrew Palau.
Wednesday: Andrew attended a press conference for the festival with representatives from television stations as far away as Bali. He presented the Gospel along with a message about the importance of loving and serving young people.
Local pastors were also on hand to answer questions, and communicated their excitement for the festival and the role of the church in the city. Many members of the press applauded Andrew's message and expressed thanks for choosing Manado.
In the evening, Andrew and the team attended a City Leaders Dinner with more than 100 leaders from Manado and the surrounding region. They enjoyed a performance from the Salem Baptist Choir of Chicago and encouragement from the choir's leader, Rev. James Meeks. Andrew also presented the Good News, and many people responded with commitments or recommitments to Christ.
Tuesday: Andrew and the team travelled to the Manado prison on the outskirts of town, which holds approximately 700 people. They put on a program including beat-boxing by local star Ganz, a dancing performance by modern hip hop dancers, stunts and demos from bikers and skaters, and a presentation of the Good News by Andrew. Many people responded to the Gospel, and even those that did not received a 'Growing Faith' booklet in Indonesian.
Monday: Andrew and the team participated in the opening ceremony for the Manado CityFest Community Exhibition at Megamas (the festival venue). The vice-mayor welcomed the Palau Association to Manado.
The Community Exhibition includes more than 70 community groups, ranging from local churches, biker groups, local artists and a variety of people representing the diverse interests in the city. The exhibition will take place over the next four nights and is intended to build anticipation for the festival and attract people to the venue.
Bethany Church, where Andrew preached on Sunday, has their own street dance team that competed in an elimination competition at the exhibition, complete with trophies and prizes for the winners. There are also 60 three-on-three basketball teams signed up for a knock-out competition that will go through Thursday night. On Monday night, 2500 to 3000 people were participating in the exhibition- an amazing turnout for the first night! Andrew and the team toured the booths and interacted with many people.
Sunday: Sunday was a full day of preaching as Andrew and team member Randy Burtis shared the Gospel at seven church services throughout the day, beginning at 6:00 a.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m. Andrew spoke at one of the largest churches in Manado, Bethany House of Love. Many people came to church for the first time, including an elderly woman with kidney failure whose family surrounded her as she gave her life to Christ.
In addition, a young woman who is new to the city and starting school at a local university came to one of the services by herself. She had no idea why she ended up in the church, but was thrilled to give her life to the Lord!
Saturday: Several Palau team members arrived in Manado on Saturday, anticipating a great week of ministry. The team shared a message and joined in a prayer night for local leaders, with 240 young leaders in attendance from 12 denominations. The team also met Pastor Togi Simanjuntak, who is from Jakarta (the largest city in Indonesia) and in town for a church conference. He gave his life to the Lord at the Luis Palau crusade in Singapore in 1986 when he was 14, and was excited to meet Andrew. After their meeting at a local restaurant, Andrew decided to share a message at the conference, and many of the pastors in attendance are now planning to stay for the festival!