A recent three-day Gospel festival in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, hosted by Franklin Graham has drawn tens of thousands of people, with more than 7,600 responding to the Gospel.

This huge Christian event, the first for Myanmar’s small Christian population, was an historic first for the mostly Buddhist nation in Southeast Asia. Hundreds of churches came together in the process of planning the festival.

“There are around 500 churches in Yangon and for this festival 440 churches participated,” said Pastor Patrick Loone with the Myanmar Council of Churches. “The most challenging part was we come from different denominations with different ways of doing things, and it was really hard negotiating. But by the grace and strength from God, we have finally understood one another. We have put our differences aside. We are united and we shall focus only on God’s ministry.”

Speaking from Yangon, Graham said a lot has changed since the 1980s when he first visited the country. And five years ago, when the military government was dissolved, the country’s political, legal and economic sectors instituted broad reforms, opening Myanmar up to improved relations internationally.

“This is God’s timing,” the festival’s executive chairman Rev. Dr. Saw Mar Gay Gyi, said, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reported. “This is the blessing from God; this is a time for harvest.”

The 400 churches that took part in the Myanmar festival prayed fervently for a year and a half leading up to the event.

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