Thousands upon thousands have this week gathered in Lagos, Nigeria to witness renown global evangelist, Rev Reinhard Bonnke preside over a major sideline event tagged, ‘Passing the Burning Torch.’
The 77-year-old German Pentecostal evangelist said the choice of Nigeria for this ‘Africa farewell gospel – crusade’ was due to its population strength, “Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and I am after people because the more the better. I can smell a ripe harvest as the Lord of harvest directed us,” he said.
The 5-day gathering started Thursday (November 8th) with Reinhard Bonnke warning the general public, especially, participants that he does not collect offerings during his crusades grounds.
“We are here to bless you; we have brought you gifts of salvation and deliverance; we are here to give and not to take anything from you,”
“Anyone who asks you to give offering for this crusade is a thief and should be reported immediately,” the sponsors of the crusade, Christ for All Nations where Bonnke is team leader, warned participant, according to local press in Nigeria.
One Pastor and participant who spoke to journalists about this move, said Bonnke’s decision to not raise offerings at his crusades is “an attestation to his sincerity” in only being concerned about “the salvation of souls.”
He, according to sources, commended Bonnke’s “caring heart” for refusing to succumb to what he called “the temptation to exploit the crowd,” who he said would have given “generously” if asked.
Bernie Moore and Todd White, both evangelists at the crusade said this is not the end but a new beginning to what Bonnke’s ministry envisions.
According to the Nigerian Christ For All Nations (Cfan) twitter handle, the first miracle involved a former crippled man who now walks.
“Tens of thousands of volunteer workers are already in place, and the huge choir of over 20,000 voices is ready to sing. The place is filled with a feeling of great expectation as multitudes gather to receive,” Peter Vandenberg, CfaN’s Vice President, observed.
Apart from this healing, a lot of people also answered the altar call and gave their lives to Christ. Sources report this crusade has attracted about 400 international guests, top spiritual leaders.
“There are so many people that think there are rituals you need to do to receive this wonderful Holy Spirit. If you are washed in the blood of Jesus, you are a recipient,” Bonnke told the congregants.
“We want to be more than saved, filled with the Spirit, we want to go and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ,”
“Some people say to me; Reinhard, I want to have your anointing. I say; what? If you get the anointing of Bonnke you will be a copy of Bonnke. I don’t want to be a copy of any body. God has no photo copy machine… he doesn’t copy. He is incapable of it – everything he does is a total original. I have my anointing, but you will get your own original.” he said addressing the theme ‘Passing the Burning Torch.’
This crusade in Nigeria has paved way to an ambitious effort to win 150 million souls for Jesus Christ in the next 10 years.
Dubbed “Double Harvest Decade,” Bonnke announced the effort on the opening day of the crusade.
“The Lord has now commissioned us to mark the next 10 years as the ‘double harvest decade’ and move forward to 150 million souls saved,” he said.