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Remembering Reinhard Bonnke and Looking Forward to the Future

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Reinhard Bonnke Plundered Hell and Populated Heaven!

He was only 10 years old, yet already he knew what he wanted to do with his life.

While many of his friends dreamed of becoming firemen, policemen, doctors and the like, this small, young German boy had but one burning ambition: “I want to be a missionary to Africa!”

Reinhard Bonnke was determined, and nothing could coax him from his chosen path.

At first, many were skeptical of his seemingly overnight decision. But even through their misgivings, no one could deny the lad’s obvious dedication to his call.

His desire to serve God in Africa became so overwhelming, that a nickname was coined for him among his friends. They called him “The Little Missionary.”

A Confirmation

Many years later, in February 1984, in Soweto, South Africa, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland sat in a small trailer, across from a now older Bonnke, and his wife, Annie. It was the first time they’d met the intense young evangelist, and suddenly the spirit of prophecy came upon Brother Copeland.

First, Kenneth prophesied that Bonnke would one day preach to millions, a prophecy that was fulfilled in November 2000 when, during a six-day crusade Bonnke held in Lagos, Nigeria, 6 million people registered to hear the gospel preached. On the final night of the meeting, 1,093,475 people received salvation!

But when they shook hands to leave, the Lord spoke yet another word to Reinhard through Brother Copeland. He said, Reinhard, stay prepared. There is coming an hour when I’m going to send you back to Germany to do some things because I am going to take that Berlin Wall down and I’m going to do it miraculously and I want you to be ready with the gospel when I do.

Five years later, the Lord made that prophecy about the Berlin Wall public when, on Sunday morning, June 4, 1989, Brother Copeland stood before the congregation of Eagle Mountain International Church and prophesied: The Berlin Wall will come down. Five months later, on Nov. 9, 1989, it did!

“No one was allowed to preach openly in Eastern Europe one day, and suddenly all of Europe was open the next,” Bonnke would later recall during an interview with the Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine. “When our God decides it’s time for change, the impossible melts before Him like butter on a griddle.”

Change is indeed what happened in the years that followed, as evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who went home to be with the Lord last December, eventually saw nearly 80 million documented decisions made for Jesus Christ through his missionary work in Africa and other parts of the world.

In 2000, Bonnke stood before a supernatural outpouring of 1.3 million people as they shouted, “I claim my flame in Jesus’ Name!” It was the largest gathering ever recorded in the history of the meetings held by Christ for all Nations, a global evangelistic association he founded in 1974, with a heart for the continent of Africa. But more was yet to come—the fulfillment of a divine connection made 16 years earlier, when Brother Copeland prophesied to him.

Referring to that prophecy, Bonnke recalled that Brother Copeland had said to him: The day will come when you’ll see a million people saved in one service.

“In those days, it didn’t look like that could happen,” Bonnke said. “We had the world’s biggest tent, but it could only hold 34,000.”

But on Nov. 12, 2000, the final night of the Lagos crusade, that prophecy was fulfilled.

“When I read the crusade statistics, tears flowed from my eyes,” Bonnke said.

That meeting also marked Bonnke’s return to Nigeria after a nine-year ban following a Muslim riot that killed hundreds of people. Angry at the devil for hindering God’s plan in Nigeria, Bonnke made a faith demand to receive a 900% return in souls for everything the devil stole during those nine years.

“At first we averaged 100,000 people coming for salvation each week,” Bonnke said. “Later the weekly average jumped to a million!”

Daniel Kolenda reflects on the value of the decades-long Partnership between Reinhard Bonnke and Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

Populating Heaven

From Cape Town in South Africa, to Cairo and around the world, Reinhard Bonnke and his Christ for all Nations evangelistic team have journeyed hundreds of thousands of miles in an effort to spread the message of God. And for much of that time, Kenneth Copeland Ministries has played a major role in assisting, both through prayer and by helping to finance the mass evangelism campaigns put on by Bonnke through Christ for all Nations.

In the early years, Bonnke held meetings in a tent that accommodated just 800 people. But, as attendance steadily increased, larger and larger tents had to be purchased, until finally, in 1984, he commissioned the construction of the world’s largest mobile structure—a tent capable of seating 34,000 people! To transport this mountain of canvas and steel required the use of 19 semitrucks which presented a financial dilemma for Bonnke, who turned to his Christian colleagues around the world. Among the religious organizations that came to Bonnke’s aid was KCM, which financed the purchase of two of the needed semitrucks.

Today, KCM continues to share in the last-days harvests by supporting the mass evangelism campaigns conducted by Christ for all Nations, now under the leadership of Daniel Kolenda. A modern-day missionary evangelist, Kolenda has led more than 21 million people to Christ face-to-face through massive open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most dangerous, difficult and remote locations on earth.

“Years ago,” Reinhard recalled during an interview, “the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, Reinhard, you are going to plunder hell and populate heaven for Calvary’s sake.” Ever since, Bonnke has done exactly that.

Reflecting recently on his personal and ministry relationship with Reinhard Bonnke, Brother Copeland said:

“The only time I ever preached on Reinhard’s platform, he said, ‘I want you to give an invitation for people to come receive the Holy Spirit.’ This was a long time before there were huge crowds. I never had the privilege of seeing personally one of those large, huge crowds like that…. He had just finished preaching about the Holy Spirit, and I gave this simple little invitation. I said to the crowd, ‘If you would like to come receive the Spirit of God, speaking with other tongues, come on up to the platform.’

“I wasn’t expecting a stampede! Nine thousand people rushed that platform that night!

“I’m so excited that he’s in the arms of Jesus, but I miss him already. “I know a large part of the prosperity; the financial prosperity and the tremendous financial growth of Kenneth Copeland Ministries was because I had the honor of being partners with the greatest soul winner of our time, and I’m thrilled. Reinhard’s homegoing is not the end. It’s just the beginning…Reinhard is not a was, he still is. He just moved. He just left town. Left his body here for a few days and moved to heaven.”

Learn more about Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke and his ministry HERE.

FaithBuilders, Outreach