Written by: Daniel Kolenda
19 March 2008
A Welcoming Roar
When our plane touched down in Yola, Nigeria, we did not know what to expect. Two years ago, a Gospel campaign was planned in this same place, but because of complicated political and religious issues, it had been cancelled. Since then, multiple attempts to come to Yola had failed. But for two years, the precious saints had prayed, believed, and waited for Reinhard Bonnke to bring his Great Gospel Campaign to Adamawa State. Finally, the time had come. We rolled down the runway, and then came to a smooth stop in the dusky Nigerian night. The cabin door opened and Reinhard Bonnke stepped onto the waiting mobile staircase. Suddenly, out of the darkness came a thunderous roar; thousands of rejoicing people waving small flashlights came running onto the tarmac. As we moved through the teaming crowd, they pulled us in all directions with such enthusiasm that Evangelist Bonnke’s jacket was torn and the police eventually had to intervene. Even in the midst of this potentially dangerous situation, it was evident that there was something special in the air in Yola. That same eager expectancy, with which we were greeted, was characteristic of the entire campaign!
The Cloud of Glory Was Hanging Low
Over 200,000 people attended the very first meeting. They came with such hunger and faith that the miracles began to happen even before the prayer for the sick. The next night, the huge crowd doubled to 400,000. By the third night, more than one million people had attended the previous three meetings and the momentum continued to mount. One night, Evangelist Bonnke summed it up when he said, “I feel that the cloud of God’s Glory is hanging so low.” A man totally blind for forty years instantly received his sight. A woman crippled for three years and brought to the campaign in a wheelbarrow, ran and jumped for joy on the platform. Another woman, deaf for thirty-two years was totally healed and spoke perfectly. Thousands of people came forward to testify of miraculous happenings and the whole region seemed “stunned” by the presence of God.
The Gospel Vacuum
Each night, Evangelist Bonnke together with Associate Evangelist Daniel Kolenda preached a crystal clear message of the Gospel without compromise, speaking of sin and salvation, of heaven and hell, and of repentance and faith. Each night when the invitation for salvation was given, a sea of hands responded and each night the Gospel tide seemed to rise creating an irresistible vacuum that was drawing the entire region. One of our team members visited the local market one day and overheard a group of men having a heated discussion. When he asked his interpreter to tell him what they were saying, the interpreter explained, “They are talking about the crusade. They are saying, ‘Blind eyes are being opened and cripples are walking… we don’t care what the Imam says, we are going to see it for ourselves.’” The interpreter then told him, “The others are saying, ‘we’re coming too.’” In a single service, 625,000 people attended the meeting…more than 100% of the population of Yola. The deputy governor told us that it was the largest gathering of any kind that they had ever experienced. Evangelist Bonnke often says, “The Gospel is magnetic!”