(USA) — San Diego's sunny skies were filled with flying motorcycles, live music, and words of hope and inspiration through the Good News of Jesus Christ on September 11 at San Diego CityFest with Luis Palau. The free, family-friendly festival drew an estimated 50,000+ to Mission Bay Park.
On a picture-perfect Saturday declared "San Diego CityFest with Luis Palau Day" by Mayor Jerry Sanders, throngs of festival-goers from throughout Southern California and northern Mexico converged on the event. "There was a great joy in the festival," said Palau, world evangelist and author. "So many churches worked so hard to make this happen."
Top musical artists, world-class action sports, and a family fun zone entertained the crowd throughout the day. CityFest represented a day of celebration for the Season of Service, a comprehensive outreach that launched in March and drew more than 50,000 volunteers from the faith community in acts of service to the needs of the region.
With a particular focus on homelessness, hunger, mentoring, schools, military families and existing programs, Season of Service volunteers provided an estimated 201,000 hours of labor at more than 340 projects. An additional 1,500 served in the preparation and presentation of the festival.
The festival itself was a non-stop celebration of music, action sports and family fun. Some of the top names in contemporary Christian music performed, including Newsboys, Kirk Franklin, Phil Wickham, and Latin musicians Marisol and Tercer Cielo. The Livin It action sports demos featured the Action Sports Outreach BMX riders, the King of Kings skateboard team, and the Riders 4 Christ freestyle motocross team. Ventriloquist Mark Thompson and VeggieTales superstars Bob and Larry led rousing presentations from the children's stage.
Palau preached the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ in Spanish and English. In two separate messages he shared themes including the uncertainty and fragility of human life. The relevance of 9/11 was addressed throughout the day in special prayers and a compelling presentation of the colors by servicemen and women based in the San Diego area.
Hundreds of hands were raised across the massive crowd as Palau extended his straightforward invitation to repent and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and begin a life of obedient faith. Several hundred "friends of the festival" had been trained to counsel new believers as they begin their Christian walk. More than 450 participating local churches will welcome them into their congregations.
"The unity among the Christians and the cheer from those who participated were such blessings," said Palau. "It was an honor to share this festival with the people of San Diego."
Palau's son, Andrew, also shared a message of hope and redemption. Himself a global evangelist,
the younger Palau and his family recently survived a plane crash in Jamaica that brought new urgency to his ministry. In the next few months he will present similar CityFest events in Kampala, Uganda (Africa) and Viña del Mar, Chile (South America). The next Season of Service/CityFest program in the United States is set for March of 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Oregon-based Luis Palau Association has brought a message of hope through faith to more than 1 billion people through radio, television, the Internet, books and articles, including 25 million people face-to-face in 72 countries. Luis Palau's daily radio broadcasts are heard by tens of millions of listeners on 3000+ radio stations in 48 countries. He is the author of nearly 50 books, and his counsel on issues of faith has been shared with political and business leaders around the world.