Faith for the Evangelist

by Andrew Palau

One of the most memorable, clarifying moments of my life was a barely perceptible whisper, and it changed the entire course of my future.

I was in a cabin in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, a beautiful place just outside of Kingston. Yet, rather than enjoying the scenery, I’d spent the past three hours face down on the floor, watching all of the horrifying, unrepentant sin of my 27 years of life appear before my eyes.

I prayed, wept, and pleaded with God to forgive me and free me from the captivity that sin held on my life.

And in that moment, He did.

Without understanding what the implications would be, I whispered to Him in gratitude:

“I will tell everyone what you have done.”

I didn’t understand it then, but that was my first step of faith as an evangelist—which, at the time, was the last thing in the world I ever thought I would be. It wasn’t too many years later that I found myself speaking at evangelistic festivals alongside my dad, Luis Palau.

At first, the doors that opened for me were self-evident, obvious choices: The Caribbean, where my wife grew up. Latin America, where I was born and where my dad began his ministry. The United States, where my passion to see life change was at its deepest and most personal. Places where I was comfortable, familiar, and safe.

After a few years in this role, my mentor, Tim Robnett, presented me with a challenge: to begin praying specifically and intentionally about which particular countries and regions around the world I could take the gospel to, and especially to be open to places that would require me to rely more heavily on Jesus than ever before. He challenged me to ask God for a clear sense of the places that would be His priority. To be honest, I wasn’t in love with the challenge. I didn’t want to be limited to specific places, and I was pretty comfortable in my normal routine.

However, my wife and I responded to this wise counsel and began praying for God’s guidance and openness to where He might call us.

It was during the end of the time that we travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to bring home our adopted daughter, Sadie. While we were there, we fell in love with the country and the people. I remember one night, we stood on our hotel balcony overlooking Addis, praying about where God might take us to share His Good News. Something happened we didn’t expect: a burden for Africa surfaced in our spirits.

Clearer than most any other time in my life, the Lord impressed an idea upon me: “Africa is the place to put at the highest level.” Furthermore, he put this idea distinctly in my mind – 10 capital cities. 10 years. 

I couldn’t wait to share with Tim. When we arrived home, an invitation to host a festival in Kigali, Rwanda, was waiting for me on my desk. Without any seed-sowing or direct connection, there was the invitation. A miraculous confirmation that God would achieve his purposes!

In the book of Jeremiah, God says, “Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not yet know.” Africa was certainly unknown to me—it was one of the few places where our ministry had sown very little seed and had few connections.

It seemed a stretch to think that I could offer something to this beautiful continent—who was I to presume that I had something to say to these people, of whom I knew so little? But I enthusiastically committed to being faithful to God’s call, and since then, our team has committed to that 10-year vision to partner with the churches of 10 capital cities of Africa, saturating them with the Good News.
This past November, I witnessed thousands of people come to faith in Jesus Christ in the seventh of the 10 cities, Addis Ababa—the Lord brought us to the place of our calling, the city in which we fell in love! Beyond the open door to share the gospel, the interesting thing we’ve discovered is that across the continent, pastors and leaders come up to our team at our festivals, exclaiming that this message, my testimony, is the story for Africa—that it represents the lives of so many people, both young and old, who need to come to Jesus through radical repentance.

I’ve learned that the younger generation across the continent is pulling away from the Church and from the Lord, and that my story—of going down that same path for many years and being rescued by the gospel—is a powerful, relatable testimony.
I never dreamed that God could use my story to impact so many people. 
I never thought that I would stand with a Bible in my hand in front of thousands of people, pleading with the crowds to humble themselves before the Living God and receive life.But if there’s anything that I’ve learned, it’s that God opens doors beyond our capacity to conceive and in ways we never believed possible.

If we are willing to call to Him and step into things we do not yet know, He reveals a plan far more glorious than we could ever dream on our own.Perhaps you have a yearning or a passion for something you have not yet fully understood or followed. If God has put a burden on your heart, don’t delay. Call out to Him for wisdom and clarity, and when He responds, press forward. Pray that He would fill you with the faith to follow His particular call, no matter how strange it may seem.

Listen as He tells you unsearchable things, and watch as He uses you in unbelievable ways.

Andrew Palau, Luis Palau

Andrew Palau (@andrew_palau) is an evangelist with the Luis Palau Association. He has shared the gospel with millions of people, and at every opportunity he demonstrates his father’s same passion and love for Christ and for evangelism.

One thought on “Faith for the Evangelist

  1. Its great to experience the Lord Jesus. An encounter with HIM cannot be forgotten. I remember one night after listening to a song which talked about how Jesus loved sinners and gave his life for us. I wept the whole night and confessed my sins and it was forgiven. I no longer feel any heaviness ever. Thank you master Jesus.
    The blood of Jesus is still saving sinners even until now, reach out to him and he will save you.

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