Jamaica (MNN) — When the winter blues take their toll, thoughts of sand, sun, and surf become alluring. Jamaica is an ideal getaway, and for world evangelist Andrew Palau it certainly is, but not for reasons of rest and relaxation. Rather, Palau will go again to Kingston to serve the Body of Christ as it meets an urgent spiritual need.
"Jamaica and its people have a special place in my heart," said Palau, who received Christ when he was 27 years old at the 1993 Kingston crusade held by his father, Luis Palau. It's also where he met his wife, Wendy, who is originally from the island. "So many there have yet to hear the Good News. This festival is an effective way for Christians to invite their friends to come and hear about Jesus Christ."
The 2011 Fun in the Son Festival will be the 9th of its kind and Palau's sixth consecutive year as the featured speaker. Through the hard work of Jamaica Broilers, Glory Music, and the local churches, it has earned the reputation of being the premier Gospel event in Jamaica.
It will be held this year on March 19 and will be hosted under the theme "Kingdom Come." Kids will enjoy the Reggae Jammin' Sporting Zone, and all ages will be attracted to live music featuring Papa San, Tye Tribbett, Carlene Davis, and many others.
The 2010 festival saw nearly 50,000 people in attendance. Event organizer, Glory Music, has moved the festival to a much larger venue at the Mona Bowl this year and anticipates an equally large crowd.
In conjunction with the festival, the local churches will be serving together in a cleanup project to help with some of the damage caused by 2010 floods. In addition, ministry teams from the U.S. will arrive one week early to share the love of Christ in local schools, neighborhoods, and at an orphanage. "These outreaches show that the Gospel is not just a concept," explains Palau. "It's real. The Good News changes lives and perspectives. It compels you to give sacrificially to help and love those in need. It brings hope to entire nations."
Next year, Jamaica will celebrate its "year of jubilee," signifying 50 years of independence from colonial rule. Celebrations will take place across the country, and "Fun in the Son" will expand to be a part of it. Already, church teams from all over the U.S. have committed to accompany Palau and his team in 2012. They will partner with local churches to conduct free medical clinics, outreach activities, construction projects, and to serve as counselors at the festival. For more information about these opportunities in 2012, as well as ministry opportunities this year, visit Andrew's Web site or send an e-mail to [email protected]
A future Andrew Palau festival is being planned for August 6-7, 2011 in Burundi, Africa.