Evangelist Nilson Fanini, described as the “Billy Graham of Brazil,” drew 5,000 to 6,000 people each night to an Asuncion, Paraguay, stadium during a week-long evangelistic crusade. Some 7,000 people attended the crusade’s final meeting.
The crusade’s impact was broadened through live television broadcasts of the meetings. The prime-time broadcasts reached most of Paraguay and part of Argentina.
The crusade attracted Argentines, as well as 110 pastors, seminary students, and lay people from Brazil who rode 1,500 miles in buses to do house-to-house visitation and to help with counseling. Inside Paraguay, 49 rented city buses transported people to the Asuncion stadium from churches and mission stations 35 miles away.
By the end of the week-long event, 1,120 people had made decisions to become Christians. In addition, the office of the Paraguay Baptist Convention has received requests for more information and New Testaments from 200 people who watched the crusade on television. Follow-up efforts include visiting new converts, giving out more than 1,000 Bibles, and launching 13-week Bible studies in 75 homes.
Christian Poet Released
The first woman in the Soviet Union to receive the maximum prison sentence for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda has been released, halfway through her seven-year prison term.
Irina Ratushinskaya, a 32-year-old poet, was released as a good-will gesture before the summit meeting in Iceland between Soviet leader Gorbachev and President Reagan. Her poetry, according to advocates in the United States, reflects a deep personal faith. Ratushinskaya faced additional punishment in prison for coming to the defense of fellow Christian prisoners.
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