What was planned as a three-day weekend outreach event turned out to be an eight-day celebration of God in the greater Fulton area.
Hope Fest 2013 was held at the Fulton War Memorial as scheduled June 7-9.
“But it did not stop there,” said John Palm, evangelist and leader of this outreach, which was presented by Christian churches throughout Oswego County and beyond. “Our steering committee felt that there was more being offered from God, so we kicked into high gear and kept Hope Fest going each evening through Friday, June 14.”
Attendance averaged around 300 during the initial three evenings. Guest speakers Norman “Jay” Foster, who is the Fulton Common Council president, and Andrew Henderson, managing editor of The Valley News, shared testimonies of how God has worked in their lives. They also urged those in attendance to pray for the local area and to seek God’s presence in their own lives.
Pastor Joe Palm, John Palm’s son, shared a message Friday evening, June 7. He provided the messages Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Special guest Pastor Julio Roque gave his testimony about God breaking through his experiences as a heroin addict and New York City gang member.
“So many lives were touched through the power of the Holy Spirit,” John Palm stated. “There are several stories of physical and mental healing that took place. We will be posting these, as well as photos and video clips, on the Hope Fest web site, www.hopefest2013.com, in the near future.”
“The vision for Hope Fest was to bring the message of hope, joy, love and peace to so many in our area who are suffering with burdens of addiction, sickness, unemployment, abuse, and despair,” said John’s wife, Mary Lou said. “With Jesus Christ alive and active in peoples’ hearts and lives, we saw countless lives changed in powerful ways that will surely bless our entire community!”
John and Mary Lou Palm were drawn to Oswego County in early 2012 after serving as missionaries to Australia.
“I was given a vision for ‘Oswego’ and we didn’t even know what or where ‘Oswego’ was,” John Palm said. “We looked it up on a map and we started writing letters to the churches in the Oswego area.”
The pastors from River of Life Assembly of God in Fulton and Martville Assembly of God in Martville both wrote back to the Palms.
Before long, the couple journeyed around the world to upstate New York because the vision that God shared with them was one for revival – something that these two churches, as well as many others, have been praying for.
“We believe that revival is very close, and that it will be like nothing that has ever happened before in this area,” John Palm said. “Hope Fest 2013 helped prepare the minds and hearts of hundreds of people and we’re very excited to see what God does next!”
There is a prayer request form on the Hope Fest web site and people may continue submitting prayer requests and praise reports.
“We realize that sometimes a person is healed gradually from a physical condition or a mental problem, so we are keeping the web site open and active,” said Betsy Copps, director of marketing.
“We were so blessed to be able to present this event in Fulton,” said Laurie Ludlow, Hope Fest director. “We are grateful to the many churches, businesses and individuals who provided prayer, donations, and volunteer support. The staff at the War Memorial were absolutely wonderful. The shuttle bus drivers, the more than 100 volunteers, the musicians and the speakers all gave so much of their time, abilities, and prayers. We couldn’t have done this without them.”
Hope Fest 2013 may be over, but the committee is already praying for direction on what to do next. “My eyes and my heart are on the City of Oswego,” John Palm said. “We expect a mighty movement of God there, very soon. There may also be more Hope Fest events in Fulton and other communities around Central New York because nothing is impossible with God.”