All of the applications for the Reinhard Bonnke School of Evangelism were read and prayed over by Reinhard himself as he chose the 150 students who would attend the four days of classes in May 2016. I felt so privileged to be one of the accepted applicants. As I sat in the very first session Reinhard shared about how he looked over every application, and was particularly interested in one student. He scanned the room looking for the student who fit the description, while saying, “A ten-year-old boy.”
I think we were all surprised to see a young man stand to his feet. He was dressed in a suit, and he had come all the way from India. His father was by his side, also dressed in a suit. The boy was 10. God had called him into ministry and he wanted to be trained.
“I was ten years old when God called me.” Reinhard said. “And I do not take lightly the calling of God. I am so glad you are here!”
Well, that started the waterworks for me. My tears began. I remembered when God called me into ministry when I was 12 years old. I remembered the men and women who invested into my life at that time helping to equip me. I preached, I sang, I prayed, I evangelized, I prophecied, I studied, I worshiped, and I walked in a boldness that only God could give to someone at my age. That boldness carried through my junior high, highschool and Bible school years.
I was ready to take on the nations by the time I was 21, and I had committed my life to the Great Commission.
I was so thrilled to see that young man there with us.
Every speaker for the four day school, shared the experience of the power of the Holy Spirit and the passionate love and grace of Jesus that marked their lives. From Reinhard himself whose 30 years on the continent of Africa have become a harvest of souls giving their lives to Jesus at a rate exceeding tens of millions, to Todd White whose love for people on the streets of every state and country he has walked in, has been a powerful catalyst for them coming to Jesus and receiving even physical healing in the process.
I wanted to hear Reinhard especially. I had read his books as a teenager. I had seen clips of his crusades in Africa, and I remember weeping as a young person over the joy of seeing people come to Jesus. I was thrilled by the healing miracles that always followed the Gospel message. Deaf ears opened, lame legs walking, and even dead lives raised up again. It was my first time to see God’s power in action when the Gospel was preached, and I knew that is what I wanted to be like. I wanted God to use my life like that.
Reinhard would continually call himself “a predecessor” in evangelism, and that we in the room would do more and hopefully exponentially more than he could accomplish in his lifetime.
I can’t describe to you entirely what it feels like to sit in a room where everyone there believes that nothing is impossible–fully certain that God can transform nations, and that the harvest can be reaped millions at a time just as easily as one at a time.
“One on one, or one on a million! Every life matters!” Reinhard would say.
Just when I was beginning to feel like being a woman disqualified me from the things I felt God called me to, God renewed in me the passion to preach the Gospel and pray for the sick.
“Your flame has your name.” was another quote from Reinhard. The flame of the Holy Spirit God has given you is tailored to the ministry God has called you to. You don’t need another person’s flame, you need your own, and you need to get going!
Among 150 students from countries all around the world, I joined in worship, weeping, praying, praise, prophecy, and encouragement with brothers and sisters from Uganda, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, India, Mexico, and the US. I watched lives catch fire for God, and I witnessed those already burning propelled further towards the call God had for them. As I worshiped, I felt the Lord’s faithfulness of having carried me all of these years. I felt Him redeeming all of my years. Even those years that were so difficult, and I wrestled with my faith, and was angry about my calling, as I felt set up for failure. He loved me still. He carried those years. He has never been in doubt of choosing His call for my life.
I’m beginning again, I feel. I have been teaching, leading in worship, writing music, encouraging and praying for all of these years, but that “thing” that is written in my flame that has yet to be seen among those I have lived near these past 20 years, is glowing hot again. I’m called to preach the Gospel. As God opens the doors, I will be stepping through them!
I go from here to a summer of commercial fishing with my family–three months in the waters of the Pacific in Alaska. I will try to blog our family adventures as we go, so stay tuned. I also hope to blog about this new thing God is doing in me, and when we return to land in the Fall, I hope to put boots on the ground and be busy about my Father’s business.