A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

Archive for July, 2014

“This Disco is a Church”

Bonnke bookDaniel Kolenda wrote:  This book is very different. It is 628 pages crammed full of some of the most fascinating and thrilling stories you will ever read…and they are all absolutely true! It reads like a sequel to the book of ACTS and every minister will draw courage and inspiration from its pages…especially evangelists.

It is especially interesting to me because I have heard Evangelist Bonnke tell many of these stories firsthand and they are unforgettable. Here is an abbreviated excerpt of one such story from Chapter 18. Enjoy…

 

My phone rang. Brother Harold Horn, someone I had known since my arrival in Lesotho, said, “Reinhard, come to Kimberly and preach to us.” I said, “I will come.”

…Friday night as I sat on the platform I looked across the gathering of 200 people. Not one young person did I see in the room. Not one. I leaned over to Harold, who was near to me, and asked, “Where are the young people?” He nodded sadly, acknowledging that I had correctly seen the problem. Every head in the room was gray. I preached. The service was closed, and the people filtered out to their cars to go home. When they had gone, Harold came to me.

“Reinhard, would you like to see the answer to your question? Would you like to know where all the young people in Kimberly are?”

“Yes, I would,” I replied.

“I will show you. Get into my car, and I will take you there.”

…He drove through the streets, turning this way and that until he came to a large building at the edge of a warehouse district. The building was ablaze with gaudy neon signs. One large sign blinked out the word, disco, disco, disco…The parking lot was jam-packed to overflowing with vehicles. …As he turned off the key I could hear the boom, boom, boom, of the heavy bass beat coming through the walls of that building. The so-called music seemed to shake the very ground beneath us with an ungodly spirit. “This is a den of iniquity,” I said sadly…He nodded. “This is the latest thing, Reinhard. It is called a discotheque, a dance club. It is a craze that is sweeping the whole world right now, and young people everywhere are very attracted to it…Let’s go inside.”

“Oh, no,” I said. “Let’s go home. I have never gone to such a place. It would be an abomination to me…But as I turned to get into the car I felt bad inside. I stopped in my tracks. This is when the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. Since I had come this far, something seemed wrong if I now turned away. But I had no idea what the Spirit wanted me to do. I just couldn’t leave.

“Let’s take a look inside,” Harold suggested. Suddenly, this seemed exactly right. Everything in my spirit said yes. I nodded. “OK, Harold. Lets just take a look at this disco.” …We came to the door and stood there. I felt the Spirit say to me very clearly, Look inside. I will show you something you do not know. I took a deep breath then opened the door. The blast of music must have knocked the hair back from my forehead. I have never heard such volume in my life. It was deafening. But it was in that instant that I received a spiritual vision of the reality of the disco. In the flash of the strobe lights, I did not see young people dancing with joy. I saw frozen images of boredom, fear, loneliness, and insecurity, one after the other, captured on the faces of those young people. The split-second flashes of light revealed these images, over and over and over again, like stop-action. Each of those haunted faces spoke to me of emptiness. Pure emptiness.

…Suddenly, I could not care less what anyone thought of me. I knew that I would preach in this disco. Nothing could deny the love of Jesus that I felt. I shut the door and looked at Harold. I hear the Holy Spirit say in my heart, Find the owner of this place. And so, I said to Harold, “Help me to find the owner of this disco.”

“What good will that do?”

“I must talk to him. Let’s find him now.”

“But what will you say to him?”

“I will ask him to let me preach in his disco.”

Harold laughed. “You won’t do that, Reinhard.”

“I will. I absolutely will.”

Harold followed me now. I inquired inside the disco, and we were led to an office at the rear of the building. The owner was a middle-aged businessman who looked to be very much a part of the rock-and-roll culture. He had long hair, gold chains around his neck, an open-collared shirt, and blue jeans. I said to him, “Sir, I’ve come all the way from Germany. I am asking you for permission to allow me to address the young people in your disco for just five minutes.” He looked at me from top to toe. “You’re a preacher,” he said. I was still dressed in my suit and tie. I nodded. He said, “If you want to preach you should preach in a church.”

“There are no young people in the church,” I said. “They don’t come to the church so the preacher must come to the young people. Now give me five minutes, only five minutes, I ask of you.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.” He shook his head in disbelief, then turned around and walked away. “There is no way, man.” He had no sympathy for my plea at all.

As he was walking, suddenly the Holy spirit touched me. He said to me, Tell him what you saw when you looked into his dance hall. I went after the man and took him by the arm. He turned to face me again. “One question, sir,” I said, looking deep into his eyes. “Do you think the young people find what they need for life in your disco?” Slowly the face of that man changed. He looked down thoughtfully. When he looked up again he said, “It is very strange that you would say that. I have children of my own. I’ve thought many times that the disco will not give the young people what they need for life.”

“I beg you, sir, give me five minutes with them.” He was thoughtful for a moment. “OK, but not tonight. Saturday night, tomorrow night at midnight, I will give you the microphone for five minutes.” I grabbed his hand and shook it. “It’s a deal, and thank you, sir. I will be here.”

…The next night I…dressed in casual clothes. I did not want to look like a preacher just coming from church. I needed disco camouflage….When at last the clock struck twelve, the music stopped. I jumped up and onto the stage where the records were being spun. I took the microphone from the disk jockey and shouted, “Sit down, sit down, sit down. I’ve come all the way from Germany, and I’ve got something very important to tell you.” Suddenly the young people began sitting down everywhere. It was then I realized I was not in church but in a dance hall. …Most of the young people plopped right down on the floor. There they sat, smoking cigarettes and chewing gum, waiting for me to tell them something very important that I had brought with me all the way from Germany.

I started to preach on minute, two minutes; suddenly the Holy Spirit was there; I mean the wind of God blew into that disco. Suddenly I heard sobbing. I saw young people getting out their handkerchiefs and starting to wipe their eyes, crying everywhere. …I had preached enough to know that when people start shedding tears, it’s time for an altar call. I said, “How many of you want to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior? How many want to find forgiveness for your sins and enter God’s plan for your life, as of tonight?”

Every hand that I could see in that place went straight up. I said, “Alright, repeat after me.” We prayed the prayer of salvation together. My five minutes were up. My work was done. I left walking on CLOUD number nine, rejoicing, absolutely rejoicing…

A year later I returned to Kimberly. Harold met me at the airport. He said, “Get in my car. I have a surprise for you.” I got in his car. He did not say anything about it; he just drove through the winding streets until he came to the warehouse district. The car stopped. I looked out of the window. I could not believe my eyes. I wiped them and looked again. Instead of seeing the big disco sign, there was a huge white cross on the front of the building.

“This is not the surprise,” Harold said. “Come inside.”

We walked up to that door where we had stood one year ago…”Are you ready for this, Reinhard?” Harold swung the door open, and I looked into a packed house full of young people. They were chanting, “Bonnke, Bonnke, Bonnke.” I cried out with joy. They rushed to me, hugging me and shaking my hands, bringing me inside. One young man said, “Remember me? I was the disk jockey that night that you came.” Another grabbed my hand. “I was operating the light show.” Another said, “We were dancing the night away. Now we are serving Jesus.”

“After you left town, the disco went BANKRUPT,” Harold shouted to me. “This disco is a church!” He was beaming from ear to ear.”

http://danielkolenda.com/2009/11/02/living-a-life-of-fire-what-a-book/

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Before they call I will answer (Isaiah 65:24)

Mama LukaLiving Faith by Helen Roseveare

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During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. “Please, God,” she prayed, “send us a water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.”

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, “And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?” 

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Helen Roseveare, a missionary doctor to the Congo, recorded this story in her book, Living Faith.  She also wrote books about the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) revival of the 1950s.

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labour ward; but in spite of all we could do she died leaving us with a tiny premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator) and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. “And it is our last hot water bottle!” she exclaimed.

As in the West it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.”All right,” I said, “Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. “Please, God,” she prayed, “send us a water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.”

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, “And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?” As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, “Amen”? I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything. The Bible says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home; anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ Training School , a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the verandah, was a large twenty-two pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting.

Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly coloured, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas—that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the . . . could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out – yes, a brand-new, rubber hot water bottle! I cried. I had not asked God to send it. I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, “If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!” Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted. Looking up at me, she asked: “Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months. Packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before – in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it “that afternoon.”

“Before they call, I will answer!” (Isaiah 65:24)

Helen RoseveareDr Helen Roseveare (1925-), an English missionary to the Congo from 1953 to 1973, suffered terribly through the political instability in the early 1960s and as a prisoner of rebel forces for five months in 1964. After her release she headed back to England but returned to the Congo in 1966 to assist in the rebuilding of the nation.  Now retired she lives in Northern Ireland. The film Mama Luka Comes Home documents her return visit to Zaire in 1989.

Helen Roseveare tells this story on YouTube

Additional comment – from C S Lewis, Miracles

When we are praying about the result, say, of a battle or a medical consultation the thought will often cross our minds that (if only we knew it) the event is already decided one way or the other. I believe this to be no good reason for ceasing our prayers. The event certainly has been decided—in a sense it was decided ‘before all worlds’. But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are now offering. Thus, shocking as it may sound, I conclude that we can at noon become part causes of an event occurring at ten a.m. (Some scientists would find this easier than popular thought does.) The imagination will, no doubt, try to play all sorts of tricks on us at this point. It will ask, ‘Then if I stop praying can God go back and alter what has already happened?’ No. The event has already happened and one of its causes has been the fact that you are asking such questions instead of praying. It will ask, ‘Then if I begin to pray can God go back and alter what has already happened?’ No. The event has already happened and one of its causes is your present prayer. Thus something does really depend on my choice. My free act contributes to the cosmic shape. That contribution is made in eternity or ‘before all worlds’; but my consciousness of contributing reaches me at a particular point in the time-series.

From Miracles
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

See also: Best Revival Stories – Editorial

See also: Inspiration – Story 16

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The Lion of Judah

The Lion of Judah series

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The Lion of Judah Series – free eBooks
1  The Titles of Jesus free from Friday August 25
2  The Reign of Jesus free from Friday September 1
3  The Life of Jesus free from Friday September 8
4  The Death of Jesus free from Friday September 15
5  The Resurrection of Jesus free from Friday September 22
6  The Spirit of Jesus free from Friday September 29

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A 1 Titles(1)  The Titles of Jesus

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Selection from this book: Aslan – The Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah
The Lamb of God
The Son of God
The Son of Man
The Messiah/Christ
The King & Lord
The Saviour & more

A 2 Reign of Jesus(2) The Reign of Jesus

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Selection: Appendix – China Miracle

Fulfilled prophecy
about the Messiah’s reign in

Matthew,  Mark
Luke,  John
The early church
The Psalms
The Prophets

A 3 Life(3) The Life of Jesus

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Selection : Prayer, Crowds and Healing

Passages on Jesus

His miraculous birth
His unusual boyhood
His anointing
His ministry
His characteristics

A 4 Death of Jesus(4) The Death of Jesus

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Selection from The Lion of Judah
(4) The Death of Jesus
:  The Tree

The cross,
Holy Week,
The Lamb of God,
The Saviour of the world

It is accomplished

A 5 Resurrection(5) The Resurrection of Jesus

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Selection from this book:
Resurrection Appearances of Jesus

His resurrection
and Ascension
and Reign
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A 6 Spirit of Jesus(6) The Spirit of Jesus

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Selections from this book:
God has given us the Spirit of His Son
Testimonies
Triumphant by His Spirit
The Spirit of the Lord

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A 7 Lion(7) The Lion of Judah

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Selection from this book (& Book 6):
Testimonies – Zinznedorf, Wesleys & Whitefield, Finney, Moody, Roberts, Gondarra

Contents from all six books compiled in one book

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Cover art by Rebecca Brogan (jtbarts@gmail.com)

This Lion of Judah series of devotional booklets is also one book called The Lion of Judah.
Each booklet is a chapter in Book (7). These booklets (and chapters) are:

The Lion of Judah Series
1  The Titles of Jesus
2  The Reign of Jesus
3  The Life of Jesus
4  The Death of Jesus
5  The Resurrection of Jesus
6  The Spirit of Jesus
7  The Lion of Judah

Selection from (1) The Titles of Jesus: Aslan – The Lion of Judah
Selection from (2) The Reign of Jesus: Appendix – China Miracle
Selection from (3) The Life of Jesus: Prayer, Crowds and Healing
Selection from (4) The Death of Jesus:  The Tree
Selection from (5) The Resurrection of Jesus: Biblical accounts

Selection from (6) The Spirit of Jesus: Testimonies

1 The Titles of Jesus, examines titles in the Bible used for Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).

2 The Reign of Jesus, explores Bible prophecies about Jesus and how he fulfilled them as both Lion and Lamb. Matthew particularly emphasizes how Jesus fulfilled prophecy.

3 The Life of Jesus, a brief summary, covers his three years of ministry in outline. Mark, the shortest Gospel, provides a useful summary.

4 The Death of Jesus, including that momentous final week in Jerusalem, examines this greatest theme of the Bible. Luke gives us unique insights including Jesus talking about this with Moses and Elijah.

5 The Resurrection of Jesus, transcending death, looks at the eternal life and victory he won for us by his love. John discusses this in all his books.

6 The Spirit of Jesus, surveys the breath-taking scope of that victory. The book of The Acts traces some beginnings of those victories.

7 The Lion of Judah, compiles all the six booklets into one book.

You can dip into these devotional books anywhere to explore the passages or themes which interest you most, and then return to explore more later.

Endorsement:

Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide ranging biblical passages (not just a string of references for you to look up!), arranged in clearly titled sections (this book is a combination of his smaller books, nos. 1-6). Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! Then share it with others.
Dr John Olley (Former Principal, Vose College, Perth)

See Discovering Aslan in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C. S, Lewis.
a-discovering-aslan-llw-1  a-discovering-aslan-llw-gift

Available now on Amazon and Kindle.

Also Discovering ASLAN, a devotional reflection on the Lion of Judah:

Discovering AslanDiscovering Aslan

High King Above All Kings in Narnia

Exploring the Story within the Stories

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician’s Nephew
The Last Battle

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