Paraguay (MNN/SIM) — A folk music festival dubbed "The Festival of Hope" was the tool God used to show Himself to the village of Yuty, Paraguay. It was a first for this small town.
On the third night of the Festival of Hope, 1,000 people filled the stadium.
SIM missionaries Dan and Christie Reich said, "It far surpassed our expectations. This big top-quality event elevated the status of evangelicals in the eyes of the community," Reich said. "People have been speaking positively about it with each other and on the radio. We were pleasantly surprised with how many people attended. We hope to break down barriers so that people will boldly follow Christ."
Each night the festival included Christian music and a message about the love of Christ. Volunteer counselors spoke with nearly 290 people who showed interest in the Gospel.
Diana was one of the people who responded. On the day after the festival, she and her husband visited the Reich's. She had been struggling with post-partum depression. Diana said, "I went with my mom to the festival and felt my depression lifting for the first time. I asked Jesus into my heart, and I wonder when your meetings are."
More than 1,000 kids attended the children's festival, where they enjoyed a special program of songs, skits, snacks, and a presentation about Jesus' love for them.
The church in Yuty will be following up with 100 families who responded to the messages. They will also meet with teens requesting spiritual help after the "Decisions and Their Consequences" presentation in their school.