Evangelist Palau Spreads 'Love' in Uganda

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In the African nation of Uganda, one of the next generation of evangelists is impacting a new generation of Africans.

Andrew Palau, 44, the once-wayward son of Argentine evangelist Luis Palau, pulled together athletes, singers, and social workers for a gospel festival in Kampala, Uganda recently.

According to local leaders, it may be the start of something new in that impoverished country.

Over 200 motorcycle taxis helped spread the word all over Kampala. The "Love Uganda" festival was underway, aimed at people who might not come to church.

"Those who do not want to see us coming with our ties, our suits, and stay there with our big Bibles," said Apostle Julius Oyet. "Those who may want to come through extreme sports. Those who may want to come through medical services."

An impressive display of action sports quickly drew the younger crowd. Most had never seen that kind of extreme sports stunts up close. Festival organizers recognized the importance of reaching Ugandan youth, including those who grew up in Kampala's more than 1,000 churches.

"They run the danger like America and many other places," Palau said. "The second third and fourth generations of a Christianized society can just walk away from God and never really fully understand and turn the back on the church if it's not engaging them. And so we've been really speaking to the next generation about what it means to be a personal follower of Jesus Christ."

During a whirlwind series of meetings, Palau had one simple message for Ugandans.

"My message has been primarily when the Son sets you free, you'll be free indeed," he said.

The festival team also preached the message with good works. A poor neighborhood lacked sanitation until festival teams built a public latrine.

In a hillside slum, festival teams installed a storage tank to provide needy residents with safe drinking water and to reduce water-borne disease.

Medical teams also provided care on behalf of Kampala's Christians.

"And about 30 people came to the Lord through that," said Dr. Lamech Lumala of the Compassion Faith Medical Center. "Some were Muslims, some were Catholics and some were just normal people. But they all very well accepted the Word of God and they're excited to come to this crusade."

Hundreds of children decided to follow Jesus and take a stand for honesty and character. Many youth and adults made similar faith decisions during the two-day public event, which was held at one of Kampala's airfields.

Church leaders said they hope the unity that developed as they worked together on the Palau festival, will carry through into the future.

"Now that we have come together," Oyet said. "Now that we are staying together in Kampala. But above all now that we are working together, it will change our nation. And the gospel will go to the next level to harvest souls for the kingdom of God."

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Stan Jeter

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CBN News Senior Producer Stan Jeter specializes in Christian news and Latin American coverage.  He has lived and worked for many years in South and Central America, most recently developing the Spanish Christian news program, Mundo Cristiano.  Follow Stan on Twitter @StanJeterNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/StanJeterCBN.