By Gbenga Osinaike
German Evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke arrived Nigeria weekend for the farewell crusade planned for Wednesday November 8 to 11 holding at Sparklight Estate, opposite OPIC Along Lagos Ibadan Expressway. The crusade promises to be a once in a lifetime event which will herald a new era in Nigeria.
Bonnke who addressed journalists on Monday November 6 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island said it is a great honour for him to be in Lagos, Nigeria for the crusade
‘Nigeria is my favourite country. There have been prophesies about Nigeria. I believe not one of the prophecies will go unfulfilled. Jesus is the fulfiller of the prophecies’
He recalled that this year makes it exactly 50 years that he began evangelical crusades across Africa noting that many lives have been saved. ‘Its exactly 50 years this year. I recall that I moved with my team from Cape Town to Cairo and across Africa preaching the gospel. I have no regret. My plan always is not to make speeches but to make the gospel known to lost souls.’
On the coming Lagos crusade he said, ‘I believe with my heart that we are going to see God move as never before. The Holy Spirit will manifest greatly. I believe this crusade will have ripple effect across Africa. I see it as privilege to have a finger in the pie. The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is not behind. He is ahead of us. He is eternal.’
He said further that ‘Time has no power to turn wrong to right, fake to genuine. The gospel is true today because it was there in the beginning.
The chairman of the Central Working Committe fpr the crusade, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola said arrangement have been concluded on the crusade. He expressed great delight at the commitment of Evangelist Bonnke to souls stating that his farewell crusade will come with so much of God’s power and presence.
Bamgbola, who is also the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria urged Lagosians to avail themselves of this once in a life opportunity.
Rev Peace Goodie, Treasurer Lagos Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria and Chairman Central Working Committee of the Farewell Crusade, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke and The Director of Crusade in Africa of the Christ for All Nations Ministry, which Bonnke, Rev. John Darku at the press conference
In the course of the press interface, Bonnke took time to answer questions from Journalists. excerpts:
Congratulations sir on this farewell crusade billed to hold from Wednesday. Why the choice of Nigeria in the first place?
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. And since I am after people, i think it is the wisest thing to do to make Nigeria the place for the farewell crusade. The more the people the better. I can see a ripe harvest in Nigeria. That is why I keep coming to Nigeria. Also I have some of my best friends in Nigeria. So its really a privilege to be in Nigeria for this farewell crusade.
You have been coming to hold crusades in Nigeria since 1985. Are you not bothered that there seems to be no appreciable change in the spiritual lives of the people judging by the increase in the crime rate?
Jesus told a parable in Matthew 13. It is the parable of the sower. The sower in that parable was sowing the best seed which is the word of God. Some of the seeds fell on a hard soil some on sandy soil some on fertile soil. The results the sower got were different. But he sowed a good seed. The point is that irrespective of the result we get we still have to obey the call for evangelism. This gospel has to be preached. The judgement of what we do should be left to God.
Why are you holding a farewell crusade when people like Paul the apostle preached all his life?
I am 77 this year. That is very important to me. I have already trained a younag man, Daniel Kolenda who is taking over from me. It has been a true success when we minister together. But the botttomline is that I love Nigeria. I have a deep deep desire to pass on the burning torch in Nigeria.
What would you consider your low and high moment coming to minister in Nigeria all these years?
We have the power of God in us. The anointing we received abides in us forever as long as we remain faithful. When the Holy Ghost comes he comes with his full strength. He is always with us in power and vigour. So there is no dull moment with the holy spirit. But there are times we dont see a physical manifestation of his presence. There are times I dont feel his power but I know he is with me. There are times I go to preach and I don’t feel anything. But I still preach all the same. In such instance I just trust that he is with me so I dont really get bothered if there is no physical manifestation. I have learnt not to expect peak exprience or look forward to things in the physical sense but to trust in His word. We rise always with wings like the eagle. Once you understand that you will not feel frustrated in ministry.
Afer this farewell crusade, what next for you?
I will celebrate Christmas. But the truth is that I have a number of engagements across Europe and America. I get invitations from across the world. I will prayerfully consider which one to attend. I will continue to preach the gospel everywhere I go. I am after souls for Jesus. Every soul saved is one less in hell and one more in heaven. I will do as much as I can as long as I have breath.