PORTLAND, Oregon, Aug 24 /Christian Newswire/ — Global evangelist Luis Palau has brought the Good News to more than 8 million people since his festival format of outreach made its debut 9 years ago in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. This past weekend, more than 185,000 attendees came to Portland’s landmark Waterfront Park for a long-awaited encore of Palau’s free, two-day CityFest.
The project began months ago when key pastors made commitments to bring their congregations and resources to the effort. Of particular appeal to the churches, businesses and civic leaders was a new component of Palau festivals called the Season of Service. Creating projects that would serve the human needs of the city – homelessness, hunger, the medically uninsured, the environment, and public schools – the Season of Service was launched in February with the vision that CityFest would be the time and place to celebrate.
CityFest was indeed a celebration – by festival weekend, over 26,000 volunteers had served in the Season of Service, exceeding original projections by more than 11,000 people. The concept of combining acts of service with an evangelistic festival has drawn the attention of cities across North and South America, Europe and Asia. More than 75 delegates from potential future cities came to Portland for CityFest, as well as hundreds of partner evangelists from Palau’s Next Generation Alliance®.
The festival included music, action sports and family fun. Some of the top names in contemporary Christian music appeared, including Chris Tomlin, Kirk Franklin, MercyMe, Kutless and TobyMac. Two-time X-Games gold medalist Kyle Losa headlined the Livin It Action Sports demo that also featured an evangelistic message from legendary skateboarder Christian Hosoi. In cooperation with the city of Portland, a “Homeless Connect” project served more than 1000 people with services ranging from housing assistance to haircuts and medical care.
Palau’s messages focused on the compelling needs of young people and families – from fatherless kids to financial challenges and sexual temptation. Hundreds of hands were raised across the massive crowd as Palau extended his invitation to begin a life of faith. Several thousand “friends of the festival” had been trained to counsel new believers: over 600 participating churches will welcome the new Christians into their congregations.
Palau’s next festival will be in Oaxaca, Mexico in November. He will be the featured speaker in Atlanta on Labor Day Weekend for the second annual Celebrate Freedom festival.
Contact: Craig Chastain, 503-614-1554, [email protected]
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