Originally published 1n CBN News
It’s been called the largest Christian event in Egypt’s history as more than 17 000 attended a Gospel crusade and more than 7 800 people made a decision to put their faith in Jesus Christ.
Dr Michael Youssef’s Leading The Way ministry held the evangelistic event in Cairo last month and told CBN News he is praising God for the thousands who came forward seeking hope, healing, and change.
“It was an amazing experience,” he recalled. “Past midnight, people did not want to leave and said: ‘We just feel the Holy Spirit here’ and it was a foretaste of Heaven. Just praising God.”
The 75-year-old pastor of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia said he was invited to Egypt to preach by a cross-denominational coalition of pastors and leaders nearly a year ago.
“Twelve months ago I received an invitation from pastors and leaders representing 27 denominations and they said: ‘We have never had an evangelistic outreach of that kind of magnitude. Would you pray about it?’ I prayed about it and I felt: ‘Of course, I will come.'”
Youssef said nearly a year of prayer went into preparing for the event. At the start of the Israel-Hamas war, he was urged to cancel because of mounting pressure in the Middle East.
“God knew 12 months ago when this was planned that this [war] was going to happen,” he explained. “This is not taking Him by surprise.”
“Can you imagine an announcement made that the evangelist is not coming because he is concerned about the situation in the Middle East?” Youssef asked. “What kind of a God do I worship? I am going no matter what. And I knew that I could trust God, this was God’s plan and we want to be on His plan.”
The executive president of Leading the Way went to Cairo last month on a mission to share a message of hope with Egyptians.
“I think there are many things that are going on right now. The war on the northern border with Hamas, inflation is 40% in Egypt. People are really suffering and some are losing hope and they want something to hang their hope onto. They want to have peace and this is exactly the message I brought them. You can have peace in Christ, regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the surroundings, and it just resonated with them and I praise God for that because it was a simple message of the Gospel and the hunger was there,” Youssef said.
Youssef attributed the event’s unprecedented attendance to the power of prayer.
“There have been people who have been praying around the clock for nearly 12 months,” he explained. “I always say this is God’s answer to the prayers of the faithful people there….He responded to their prayers and their faith and gave them what is going to be now an igniting of a movement that is going to continue. It’s not going to stop. We praise God for all those people.”
Youssef, a native Egyptian who lived in Lebanon, says he is passionate about seeing the Middle East embrace Jesus Christ.
“The church is booming. It is amazing what God is doing. The evangelicals and Protestants may have been 250 000 or 300 000 back when I lived there 55 years ago. Now there are over 2 million evangelicals in Egypt and about 10 million Coptic Orthodox [Christians]. God is doing an amazing work and bringing people to Himself,” he said.
Youssef added: “Please pray that God will keep that movement that was ignited to keep going for many years to come.”
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