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Luis Palau festival in Ho Chi Minh City,
Vietnam. (Luis Palau Association photo)
World-renowned evangelist Luis Palau broke a 35-year drought of non-Vietnamese evangelist activity when he entered Vietnam a week ago. Luis, his son Andrew and a team from Luis Palau Association were met at the airport by some 400 to 500 cheering people.
The Vietnamese have extremely high hopes for the Palaus' month-long stay in Vietnam. The evangelical church, 2 million strong, has set a goal of bringing 10 percent of the country—roughly 9,900,000 people—to Christ by 2020. Their hope was that last weekend's evangelistic festival in Ho Chi Minh City would add significantly to that number.
The festival was unsurprisingly met by obstacles.
There was some concern that the permit wouldn't be granted for the festival, and it was not actually permitted until three hours before the event and even then it required a move to a different location.
In the end, a slightly late start made little difference. By the festival's close on Sunday, thousands had engaged in worship, heard a clear gospel message and listened to testimonies. Thousands came to Christ.
The Palau team will remain in Vietnam for a couple of weeks, preaching the gospel, encouraging leaders, and building up churches in discipleship and other areas. Pray for their time in the country, and especially for this weekend’s festival in Hanoi. The April 15-16 event also has yet to receive a permit.
Praise God for the new lives that have been found in Christ. Pray that the time Luis Palau and his team spend in Vietnam will bear much fruit and will open the doors for many more evangelistic opportunities.