More than 50,000 people in West Africa gathered this past weekend (Feb. 15-17, 2019) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for a 3-day evangelistic festival with evangelist Andrew Palau. Led by the Luis Palau Association, the week-long campaign was the culmination of more than three years of work in Cote d’Ivoire, including massive citywide festivals in other influential cities such as Yamoussoukro and San Pedro.
The effort included more than 2,200 local churches, garnered the support of dozens of ministry partners, and saturated the nation with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
In addition to the final 3-day festival, the Palau team worked throughout the week in partnership with local churches to coordinate dozens of outreach and service programs to bless the community. The massive, region-wide campaign, which came to be known as Love Cote d’Ivoire Festival, included eye glass clinics, outreaches as schools, prison ministry, and evangelistic dinners for key sectors of society. In total, this past week’s efforts reached tens of thousands of individuals with the Good News and led more than 19,000 people in public confessions of faith to Jesus Christ.
Highlights from the campaign:
- 54 outreach events reaching nearly every sector of society.
- 2,200 partnering churches from nearly every denomination.
- 418 evangelists gathered to launch the first-ever network of evangelists in Cote d’Ivoire.
- More than 5,000 individuals trained in personal evangelism.
- More than 9,000 children reached through BMX and children programs in local schools.
- 10,000 people served through eye glass clinics during festival week. While the Palau team met this tangible physical need, they also shared Christ with each individual, leading more than 800 people in personal commitments to Christ.
- 59 nations reached through a special live television broadcast of the festival aired throughout the French-speaking world.
- More than 102,000 people reached in person through the full campaign in Abidjan.
- More than 19,000 public confessions of faith in Jesus Christ.
The free 3-day festival featured performances by top-rated gospel artists and communicators including local favorites Emmanuel Bouaffo, Lilly Gohilou, Kone Fontaly, Mary Sy, and Richard Kreme, as well as well-known musicians Dave Lubben and Don Moen from the United States. It also included BMX stunt demonstrations by ministry partners Stunt Dudes, entertainment for children and families with the help of close ministry partner Duggie Dug Dug, and proclamations of hope and good news from Andrew Palau. Bibles for the World also helped with a massive Bible distribution effort.
Commenting on the Festival strategy, Dr. Gboagnon Appolinaire, President of the Federation of Evangelicals Côte d’Ivoire said, “The festival helped the Church win souls to Christ. That’s why we were involved. We’ve all been called to serve the Lord and that means focusing on souls being won for Christ. We’ve had other evangelists come to our country but Andrew has a unique method which is the most engaging and effective.”
This festival marks the Palau Association’s tenth capital city campaign on the continent in the last 10 years, including festivals in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire (2017) Lilongwe, Malawi (2016); Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (2014); Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2013); Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2012); Bujumbura, Burundi (2011); Kampala, Uganda (2010); Kigali, Rwanda (2009); and Cairo, Egypt (2008).
The Palau Association’s commitment to Africa continues with delegates from around the continent visiting the Love Cote d’Ivoire Festival to observe and discuss opportunities for Palau festivals in their home nations. Events currently being finalized and discussed include the Love Cape Town Festival in South Africa in 2019, Love Malawi Festival for Blantyre in 2020 and a festival in Nairobi, Kenya, tentatively planned for 2021.
For more information about the festival and the Palau Association’s ongoing commitment to Africa, visit www.palau.org.
About Andrew Palau: For more than 24 years Andrew Palau has played a key role in the ministry of the Luis Palau Association. He has been instrumental in building the LPA model for citywide outreach as an evangelist, director, and key team leader. He has guided campaigns, led church relations efforts, trained thousands of believers in friendship evangelism, and proclaimed the Good News of Jesus Christ in person to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world through evangelistic campaigns. Andrew’s festivals have brought him and the Palau Association in partnership with thousands of churches in cities throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, and the United States of America. In addition to his father, Andrew’s own weekly radio broadcasts are heard by millions of people on thousands of radio outlets around the world. He is also the author of multiple books, including Secret Life of a Fool, a retelling of his personal journey to faith in Christ, and What is Christmas?, a groundbreaking evangelistic book published in China in 2012.