FIRST ON FOX: The Rev. Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association began a 10-stop, 1,500-mile tour of the southern border of the United States this weekend, with the goal of bringing a “life-changing message of hope” to residents in difficulties of the border cities of Texas. Arizona and California.

The God Loves You Frontera tour kicked off in Brownsville, Texas, on Saturday, Fox News Digital reported through original statements and a press release from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association late Saturday.

Graham is president and chief executive of the group. The Spanish word frontier means border.

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“We are reaching out to the southern border because it is one of the most needy areas of our country right now, and people need to hear a message of hope,” Graham said in comments to Fox News Digital.

The border area, he stated, “is overwhelmed.”

Franklin Graham on the podium

Franklin Graham said the purpose of his tour of the US southern border is to “spread hope” in these “overwhelmed” areas of the United States. He is seen here on the right along with translator David Ruiz, on the left. (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

“Everyone along the border is overwhelmed: churches, law enforcement, residents, those trying to help, as well as people coming to our country,” Graham said.

“There are many hungry hearts and hurting people, which is why I come to the border to tell everyone about the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and how He can make a difference in our lives if we put our faith and trust in Him.”

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Steve Dorman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Brownsville, said his city is one of the poorest in the United States.

Brownsville “is quite transient as it is located on the Texas-Mexico border,” Dorman said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital.

“We want everyone in this community to know that God is always with them and loves them, and that the Gospel can be a stabilizing force to help them in their lives.”

crowd of people in rows in front of screens

An estimated 3,800 people attended the first event of the God Loves You Frontera tour in Brownsville, Texas, on Saturday, February 24. “We want everyone in this community to know that God is always with them and loves them,” said Pastor Steve Dorman of First Baptist Church in Brownsville. (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

Throughout the tour, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said it will partner with more than 1,000 churches in an effort to “reach their communities with a message of God’s love.”

The planned events will feature a message from Graham, as well as live music, and will serve to “offer hope to the hopeless, purpose to the lost, and redemption to the broken,” Abraham Moreno, pastor of Calvary Chapel in McAllen, said in shared comments. with Fox News Digital.

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McAllen is the second stop on Graham’s tour.

The tour’s message is one that “heals wounds, restores broken lives and provides a way for people to experience a personal relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ,” Moreno said.

“Tonight I want you to know that you can have a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.”

Speaking Saturday, Graham told the crowd gathered from the stage: “Tonight I want you to know that you can have a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.”

He also said, “If you remember nothing else, remember this: God loves you.”

Franklin Graham speaking on the stand

Franklin Graham kicked off the “God Loves You Frontera Tour” on Saturday, February 24 in Brownsville, Texas. David Ruiz (left) translated the event into Spanish. (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

Graham also told the crowd, “The Bible says that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

He said, “Jesus came to save sinners. He bled and died on a cross for you. He went to the grave. He took your sins to the grave, but on the third day he rose again.” Graham continued.

“Your sins can be forgiven tonight, you can be delivered, but you have to follow His way and that is through Jesus Christ.”

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Graham addressed the hopelessness many people feel right now.

“Maybe you’re feeling desperate tonight. Maybe you’ve come here hoping that something will happen that could change your life,” he said.

Marcos Witt holding a book and a microphone.

Marcos Witt at the Brownsville, Texas, stop of the God Loves You Frontera tour with the Rev. Franklin Graham, which just began Saturday. Witt, an American Christian music singer and pastor, was born in San Antonio, Texas. (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

And he added: “There is no hope except Jesus Christ.”

The tour began in the Gulf of Mexico and will extend to the Pacific, where it will end in Chula Vista, California, the organization said.

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In exclusive comments to Fox News Digital, Rev. Graham addressed the latest incident of immigration crime in this country that has drawn national attention.

College nursing student Laken Riley was found dead several days ago on the University of Georgia campus.

On Friday, Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was charged with murder. Ibarra is a Venezuelan citizen who crossed illegally into El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was released into the United States on parole, three ICE and DHS sources told Fox News.

“My heart and prayers go out to Georgia’s family who lost their daughter in this senseless murder.”

“Many tragic things are happening to the citizens of our country, as well as immigrants along the border, because of our politicians’ failure to enforce the law,” Graham told Fox News Digital.

“My heart and prayers go out to Georgia’s family who lost their daughter in this senseless murder.”

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The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was founded in 1950 by evangelist Billy Graham.

It works to “share the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world,” its website says.

Franklin Graham was named executive director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 2000. He was named president the following year.

Fox News Digital’s Audrey Conklin, Michael Ruiz and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed reporting.

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By Sam