Reinhard Bonnke — a Man of Fire Impacting Nations! He Spurred Me on and Today I Remember Him
I heard the news that Reinhard Bonnke passed away this morning, I cried. It’s hard to explain the emotion I was feeling; it was both sad that this amazing man had passed away, but also happy, he’s lived well and — he’s gone home. As tears dripped down onto my cheeks I remembered him. Reinhard made an impact on my life.
From all accounts, he was a man that lived a life of fire. He impacted millions of lives around the world, he had a passion and fire that was contagious for all those that wanted to be drawn into the invitation that was offered.
In December of 2010, I got a package in the mail. I opened it with anticipation, I wasn’t expecting any package — this was a lovely surprise. It came from a gentleman, I call him this not just to be referring to him in a polite way, but because John is a very gentle and kind man. I didn’t know him that well at the time, his letter attached sparked my interest, and also gave me a good old laugh;
(this is the sparking interest part)…….I thought this book might be of interest to you. It is an autobiography of a well-known evangelist. From his story, it is clear that one of the reasons his ministry was so effective, was that he was so eager to hear God’s voice and be obedient to it. Of course, it is evident from your newsletters that you do the same.
(this is the bit that made me laugh)….This book is for you to keep or you may have already read it. If you have no further use for it, do not attempt to return it, but give it away or donate it to a library, with love John Spain.”
Enclosed with the letter was a book “Living a Life of Fire — Reinhard Bonnke”. I’m not a big reader, and this book was the thickness of three put together, so I opened it gingerly. I’m grateful that the kindness and thoughtfulness of the gift plus the intrigue from the letter gave me enough oomph to start reading.
I was crying before the end of the first page;
“I SIT QUIETLY with an explosion building inside of me. I lean forward to the edge of my seat. My hands explore the cover of my preaching Bible as my foot taps a nervous dance on the platform. Every molecule of my body anticipates what is about to happen. I think you would feel the same if you were in my shoes….The vast crowd in front of me radiates heat and expectancy. Nearly 700,000 tribesmen have walked for many miles to this site. Many of them are Muslims. Their upturned faces draw me like a moth to a flame. 2,400,000 will attend in five nights of preaching. More than 1.4 million will accept Jesus as Saviour at the invitations……..Anticipation makes my heart race. What about yours? As you begin to read my story. I wonder, are you like me? Does the prospect of seeing the Great Commission of Christ fulfilled drive you day and night?…..I see that some in the crowd tonight are crippled. Some lie sick on pallets. Others lean on crutches. Not all will be healed, but some of these crippled will walk. I must tell you, when they walk, I will dance with them across this platform! Wouldn’t you?…”
I was hooked! I continued reading that book night after night, tears plopping onto my pillow as I lay in bed reading. The excitement of getting more of the details got me under the bed covers earlier each night, I was eager to hear the stories.
I wanted to see stories like Reinhard. I already had, but it was a tiny drop in the ocean and I wanted to see more.
I have seen more! I’ve seen blind eyes healed, deaf ears opened, lame people walking, and many hearts and lives changed. I hunger to see even more.
Today, again I reflected. Reinhard is another forerunner, his life has passed, there are more forerunners to come and I want to be one of them! I want to be one of those people that runs, to be inspired and to inspire as many people along the way as I can.
I had the opportunity in January 2018 to join the first School of Awakening, it was in Germany, the birth country of Reinhard. I was in a room of people where we FaceTimed him for around one hour. I soaked in all he had to say. There was so much gold in that man’s life. His words were like refreshment straight from heaven.
There was one part that particularly stood out to me; Reinhard talked about a story where his plane had been delayed and he was not able to make it in time for a gathering of pastors and leaders. They told him that regardless of how late he was that he was to come into the meeting. When Reinhard arrived they were in the middle of discussing a deep theological question, so the question got thrown to him for an answer.
He explained to us that the question was so complicated that he could barely understand what they were asking. Then the holy spirit spoke to him, and this was his response;
“I am an evangelist, I am busy breaking chains. When the last chain is broken I will start with the splitting of hair”
Those words resounded in my head this morning. Those thoughts have been resounding in my head and my heart for weeks. We can spend so much time discussing what is right and wrong we forget about sharing the simple gospel.
Reinhard simply shared the gospel everywhere he went. He shared the truth and it was always coupled with a huge amount of love, grace and invitation. Reinhard was not a complicated man. He simply heard God’s voice and went.
I’m so grateful for such a great example of grace and truth. I mourn the loss of Reinhard, but I rejoice that he has gone home. I rejoice that he has left a legacy, and it is a legacy that all of us have the opportunity to partake in.
Can I encourage you today, no matter where you are at with God, to open up your heart? What can you learn from this man, what simple truths does God want you to know?
“Thank you Reinhard for your faithfulness and for spurring me on to greater things”.