Jamaica Festival Report
The biennial Fun in the Son Festival lived up to its name in Kingston, Jamaica on July 16th as thousands of people gathered under the warm Jamaican sun for a free family festival with Andrew Palau. The crowd packed into National Heroes Park in Kingston to enjoy the festivities and hear the Good News of Jesus Christ proclaimed.
“It is remarkable to see Fun in the Son growing year after year,” Andrew shared. “With each festival, many more of God’s people are capturing the strategy of bringing friends and family so that the depth of impact just grows and grows. I know exactly how this plan can transform a person . . . it is the story of my life!”
The festival—a collaborative effort between the Luis Palau Association, Jamaica Broilers, and Glory Music—began with several marching bands in brightly colored uniforms, effectively setting the celebratory tone for the rest of the day. Other performers included Donnie McClurkin—a special guest visiting from New York City—and Jamaican artists Kevin Downswell, Judith Gayle, Carlene Davis, Papa San, and many others. A children’s area featuring carnival games, bounce castles, and face painting proved to be a popular attraction, along with world-class action sports demonstrations including skateboarding, professional BMX athletes Vic Murphy and Jon Andrus, and three-time Freestyle Motorcycle X-Games Gold medalist Kyle Loza.
The main stage presentation began in the afternoon, with the highlight being a message of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The crowd was attentive as he shared from John 10:10 about God’s promised abundant life for those who turn to Jesus, appeal for forgiveness, and receive Him personally. Andrew made a point of clarifying some of the common misundersandings about what is required to be saved, and then appealed passionately that not one would reject the free gift of God. Afterward, he led a prayer from the stage and invited those in the audience who wished to accept the Lord to join him in praying and raise their hand in an outward expression of their commitment. Across the crowd, a sea of hands could been seen in the air. In addition to those who responded on-site, many others heard the message via radio broadcast and were able to text their decision to the follow-up committee.
Thanks to a generous contribution from long-standing ministry partner Bibles for the World, decision-makers didn't go home empty handed. Bibles for the World provided 3,600 copies of the New Testament as well as 4,000 copies of the Gospel of John to be distributed to decision-makers to help them grow in their newfound faith.
“This was my first time attending, and I have no regrets,” one festival goer shared on Facebook. “When I walked in the crowd, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Truly awesome.”
In addition to the festival, the Palau Association worked with Jamaica Broilers to put on the first ever Fun in the Son Women’s Luncheon. Nearly 300 women attended and heard a message of hope from Wendy and Andrew Palau. Many women in attendance made the decision to follow Jesus at the event. Andrew also invited a team of volunteers from around the world to serve local churches in their ongoing efforts—such as providing reading glasses at health clinics, school outreaches, infirmary visits, a sports camp, and more. Andrew also shared the Good News at four prisons during the week.
“Many lives were powerfully touched throughout this week of ministry,” festival coordinator Randy Burtis shared.
The festival in Jamaica holds a special significance for Palau because it was at a very similar event where he accepted the Lord 23 years ago and received his calling as an evangelist. The speaker at that event was his very own father, renowned evangelist Luis Palau.
"A great night with a tremendous gathering and response to Good News--really an amazing thing to see." --Andrew Palau
Check out a video report from Andrew:
Thousands of people gathered under the warm Jamaican sun for a free family festival with international evangelist Andrew Palau. The crowd packed into National Heroes Park in Kingston to enjoy the festivities and hear the Good News of Jesus Christ proclaimed at every fitting opportunity.
The festival, which is a collaborative effort between the Luis Palau Association and Jamaica Broilers, began with several marching bands in brightly colored uniforms, effectively setting the tone for the rest of the day. Other performers included Kevin Downswell, Judith Gayle, Papa San, Donnie Mclurkin, and other local Jamaican artists. A children’s area featuring carnival games, bounce castles, face painting, and more proved to be a popular attraction, along with action sports demonstrations from professional athletes Vic Murphy, Jon Andrus, and Kyle Loza.
The main stage presentation began in the afternoon, with the highlight being a message of hope from Palau. The crowd—which was an estimated 50,000 people strong—was attentive as he shared about the reality of heaven and the promises of Jesus. The message was also broadcast on a major radio station. Afterwards, he led a prayer from the stage and invited those in the audience who wished to accept the Lord to join him in praying and raise their hand into the air if they did so. Across the crowd, a sea of hands could been seen in the air.
Thursday, July 14
From Randy Burtis: "Yesterday our clinics concluded and it was an interesting mix of ministry activities with some very touching moments. Our teams hit the road running early in the morning to four different areas. One eyeglass team traveled about 30 minutes outside Kingston to the city of Portmore, where they went to work in a church that was hosting a VBS and a medical clinic at the same time. Mid-afternoon, they visited a nearby infirmary. Most of the people there are chronically and often terminally ill. They were all deeply touched by the joyful attitude of these people. Many of them are believers and it was amazing to see their peace and even gratitude in the midst of such difficult circumstances. One of our team members noticed that most of them seemed to have trouble reading the Gospel materials they had been given. He spoke with the nurse and discovered most of them needed reading glasses, which were left with the medical staff to distribute. 150 patients will receive glasses!
Andrew unexpectedly ended up at the soccer clinic where 25 children gathered in the shade of a large tree to listen as Andrew shared Christ with them. All of them prayed out loud with Andrew, and then 16 of them raised their hands as a sign of the commitment they had just made.
In addition to the Portmore eyeglass clinic and the sports team, our children's ministry team had a great day and the Kingston clinic finished strong.
There are just too many stories to tell right now, but many lives were powerfully touched. Throughout the week our teams ministered to 1948 people and saw nearly 200 decisions!"
Wednesday, July 13
From Randy Burtis: "The first women’s tea in Jamaica was a great success. It was at a great location with wonderful tea and coffee and light snacks. Approximately 340 women attended. Wendy gave her testimony, followed by Andrew presenting the Gospel. Many, many women made commitments to Christ and filled out decision cards which the team is going through in order to begin the follow-up."
Tuesday, July 12
Report by Randy Burtis
Prisons: Andrew went to 2 more prisons on Tuesday. The first one was a women’s prison that originally was an old fort! It was so hot that we decided to move it in to the Chapel instead of the basketball court. Some great worship from our local Jamaican worship team and the BMX guys doing their tricks brought 68 women into the Chapel, along with the guards. It was a great time worshipping with these women as most of them knew the songs and could recite Bible passages as Andrew was reading them. 30 women came forward when Andrew gave the invitation!
Andrew and the team then went to another prison in downtown Kingston. Approximately 150 inmates came out to hear the team and 25 of them made decisions for Christ!
Eyeglass clinics: We have two eyeglass teams go out each day to different locations. One team had better success in day 2 of their clinic at one of the Kingston churches as they doubled in size after a slow start from the first day! The other team went to an old train station that was converted into a church and saw 446 people! One of the highlights for a team member was when an older lady got her glasses then jumped up and exclaimed “I will see you in Glory!" It is such a joy to be able to help people, some of whom come in barely able to see but leave able to see the world in new ways (physically and spiritually). What a privilege it is to help people see better, but more importantly to pray with them!
Children's Ministry: On Tuesday, the children’s team went to a government run children’s home that houses kids from age 6 – 17. Some of these children live there long term, and some go home on the weekends. The team has been having a great time connecting with these children, and leaving them lots of toys! To date, they have had about 24 decisions.
Sports Camp: Tuesday was the first day of a sports camp we are partnering with. There are approximately 50 kids who come every day. As our team works with a Jamaican sports ministry and a basketball coach from the US, these kids not only hone their sports skills the Gospel is presented to them every day.
Monday, July 11
Check out a short video greeting from Jamaica:
Report by Randy Burtis: "Monday was a packed day in Jamaica full of challenges but wonderfully packed with blessings and many people coming to Christ. Andrew started the day by arriving at TVJ, the largest station in Jamaica where he and his team all appeared on a good-sized live interview. Andrew slipped in the Gospel to tens of thousands of viewers.
Next came the Spanish Town prison, where 1,000 inmates live in a facility designed for 600. Just as we arrived a heavy downpour began, stranding half the team inside the prison and the other half in their vehicles. The rain cleared and we were able to do the full program even though we were an hour behind schedule. They put us in a courtyard surrounded by three levels of cell blocks with a little over 200 prisoners watching from the balconies and many others standing with us in the courtyard. Robert Levy shared his testimony and our small Jamaican worship team sang. Vic and the team did their great BMX stunts, and Andrew delivered the Gospel. The crowd was quite attentive and when Andrew gave the invitation, more than 50 men responded.
Andrew then went to the Spanish Town eyeglass clinic where he shared Christ with those who were waiting to have their eyes examined, and 25-30 accepted Christ. Following the eyeglass clinic, Andrew went on to a different prison. This was a much smaller facility where 76 of the 200 inmates came to the presentation. More than 15 men raised their hands at the invitation. Praise the Lord!"
About Fun in the Son
Andrew and the Palau team are returning to Jamaica! At the invitation of hundreds of churches and thousands of believers, the Palau Association is partnering with Jamaica Broilers to serve the nation through a unified, area-wide outreach and Fun-in-the-Son evangelistic festival.
Anticipating a great response in this year’s campaign, church leaders among all denominations have held evangelism and discipleship training for thousands of believers in the months leading up to the festival. Ministry teams will work with, through and for the local church to bring tangible expressions of God’s love and care to prisons, orphanages, and women’s groups. A week-long eyeglass clinic will minister to hundreds of people, and team members will share the Good News and pray with each recipient. The week of ministry will conclude with Fun In the Son, a day-long Gospel festival that includes a family fun zone, live BMX demonstrations, live concerts, and a message of hope and Good News by Andrew Palau. BMX pros and ministry partners Vic Murphy and John Andrus will capture the attention of thousands of people with their stunts, followed by their own presentations of the Gospel message.