Q: Tell us about your call into ministry.
A: I come from a long line of preachers, five generations on my father’s side to be exact. I think everyone assumed all along that I would follow in their footsteps. But from an early age, my heart was drawn to the lost. As a boy, I knew that I wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Although I did pastor and work in local churches for a while, my burden for the nations – and especially for Africa – never changed. It’s amazing to think that today I am doing what the Holy Spirit put into my heart as a child.
Q: From there, how did you come to partner with Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke at Christ for all Nations?
A: My journey with Christ for all Nations began in the warehouse. I began stocking shelves and mailing packages. It was not a ministry position and it was not prestigious, but I knew that I was a part of the harvest and I was grateful. Eventually Evangelist Bonnke invited me to travel with him, from time to time, as a substitute personal assistant. This is when we became friends and when he saw the hand of God on my life. Although I never shared with him my calling to Africa, the Lord spoke to him and said, “The anointed must be appointed.” That was the beginning of a process whereby, little by little, Evangelist Bonnke began to give me more and more responsibility until finally, in 2009, I became the President of Christ for all Nations. Since that time I have been leading the ministry globally.
Q: What do you remember about your first crusade in Africa?
A: The first time I experienced one of these African evangelistic campaigns, I was with Reinhard Bonnke in the city of Ogoja in Nigeria. It was a very remote and sparsely populated region. When we finally came to the outskirts of the city, after the long journey, a group of elders was standing on the side of the road waiting for us. We pulled over, got out of the vehicles and began to greet them. I remember they thanked Evangelist Bonnke for coming. They said, even other Nigerian evangelists rarely traveled to that region. It was too remote and the population too small. And then they began to apologize. They said, we have heard about the great crowds that have gathered at your other crusades, but this crusade will be much smaller. Indeed, the first meeting was quite small. But each night, as the word spread through the region of what Jesus was doing, the crowds grew exponentially.
Near the end of the crusade, as we were driving to the field, Evangelist Bonnke began to talk in the car. He began to share with me how, years earlier, they had discovered in a museum, an unpublished journal of the great pioneer missionary David Livingstone. Livingstone was a trailblazer whose ministry opened the way for other missionaries that would follow on the African continent. He described himself and his fellow missionaries as those who were working “when all was gloom, and no evidence of success in the way of conversion cheered our paths.” But he foresaw a brighter future. “Future missionaries will be rewarded with conversions for every sermon. We are their pioneers and helpers.” And then Livingstone wrote these words. I’ll never forget Reinhard quoting them to me, emphasizing every word in his thick German accent. “Let them not forget us” Livingstone said, “The watchmen of the night.”
We arrived on the crusade field. As we left the car and ascended to the stairs, my vision widened as we reached the top of the platform and there I saw a crowd the likes of witch I had never seen, even in my wildest dreams. The crowds seemed to touch the horizon in every direction. Our count for that night’s attendance was 400,000! (of course locals told us it was millions, but we have a very precise way of measuring the crowds). It reminded me of the multitudes John described in the book of Revelation.
As I stood on that platform with tears welling up in my eyes, I remembered something one of the pastors had told me earlier that week. He told me that in West Africa, there are certain cemeteries that were filled with missionaries that came in previous generations. He said you will notice something peculiar about their tomb stones. On many of them there are no names, but only numbers. One will say 12. One will say 25. Just various, seemingly random numbers. He told me that It was so common in those days for missionaries to die within months, or even weeks, that when the missionaries arrived, the locals would begin counting. And if the missionary died before the locals had learned their names, they would simply write on their tombstone the number of days they had lived after arriving on African soil.
I looked at the faces of these precious Africans, many of whom were experiencing the joy of salvation that week, and I had a revelation. What we were experiencing was the not the result of some publicity stunt or clever marketing scheme. We were walking down a trail that had been forged by the blood, tears, and sacrifice of generations of righteous men and women who had longed to experience the things that we were seeing and hearing. In my heart, I heard those words of Jesus to His disciples. “Blessed are your eyes for they see. And blessed are your ears for they hear” (Matt. 13:16). What an amazing privilege!
Standing on that platform in Ogoja, as I became aware of the enormous responsibility in the hands of our generation, as I realized that we were reaping with joy what others had sown in tears, I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say to my heart, “You dare not fail now, in the season of harvest.” The British Evangelist, Leonard Ravenhill said, “The opportunity of a lifetime, must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity.” Today we are living in the greatest season of harvest in history.
Q: You’ve had the incredible opportunity to be mentored by Evangelist Bonnke for many years. What is one of the most important things you’ve learned from him?
A: I once had a group of young evangelists ask me to sum up the most important lesson I’d learned from Evangelist Bonnke in one word. I said, “obey.” I have seen over and over again how his willingness to obey, when others would question and hesitate, has set him apart as one of the greatest evangelists in history.
Q: Congratulations on the birth of your new baby! What’s it like to balance such heavy travel with a family of now seven?
A: My fifth child was just born January 23rd this year. I have three boys and two girls. Together with my wife they are the joy of my life. Every time I have to leave them my heart breaks. But they share my love for the Lord and my passion for the Gospel. We are in this together! I don’t claim to have it figured out. Only time will tell if I’ve done a good job balancing everything. But one thing I try to do – when I am home, I am intentional about spending time with each one of them as much as possible. I will take them out individually on “daddy dates” and try to give them quality time. My family is happy, my marriage is healthy and God has been good to us as we have followed Him. There is nothing we have sacrificed that He has not repaid 100-fold.
Q: Your ministry and the CfaN crusades have been marked by significant miracles. What is the most memorable miracle you’ve seen take place?
A: There are too many to mention. In the city of Sapele, Nigeria a three-year-old boy was raised from the dead after I prayed for him. In the United Kingdom Jesus caused a woman’s shriveled foot to grow out to normal size until the shoe she wore to the meeting didn’t fit anymore (she went home barefoot). I’ve seen blind eyes and deaf ears open on the platform with hundreds of thousands looking on. Every single meeting is marked by miracles – not because I am special, but because Jesus is alive!
Q: Why do you think we aren’t seeing more wide-spread miracles in our communities and churches?
A: Because we don’t expect or contend for these things. People often ask me, “Why do more miracles happen in Africa?” I think the problem is in the question itself. If we already have this idea that miracles happen in other places (or at other times in history) but not here and now, it is a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Hebrews 11:6 says, “…anyone who comes to him must believe…” James 5:15 says it’s the “prayer of faith” that saves the sick. Our experience does not change the Word of God. We need to get rid of our unbelief, throw out all the excuses and determine to contend for the full manifestation of God’s glory in our lives.
Q: What would you tell someone who wants to evangelize their community, but doesn’t know how to start?
A: Instead of thinking of yourself as a “soul-winner”, think about yourself as a seed planter. This is the way Jesus taught us to spread the word of God. This mentality will change how you define success. People WILL reject you. They rejected the prophets and every great man and woman of God throughout history – including Jesus Himself. Being rejected is not failure. Not getting an instantaneous conversion is not failure. If you sowed a seed, you succeeded – because that’s what you’ve been asked to do. If your goal is to win twenty people to Jesus every day, you will find yourself burning out very quickly, and finding very little success. But if your goal is to love people and plant seeds every day – you will find that very possible to do.
Q: You place a major emphasis on follow-up with converts at your crusades. Why is this so important?
A: Jesus didn’t say “make converts of all nations.” He said, “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). As an evangelist, it is not our gift (nor is it even possible) for us to disciple the new converts ourselves. Instead we partner with thousands of churches. Our part is to make sure that these churches are equipped to disciple the new converts and then to make the connection. We have seen more than 77-million people go through this follow up system since 1987.
Q: Last fall, Reinhard Bonnke preached in his last African crusade and “passed the torch” of ministry to you. Tell us about that experience!
A: In all honesty, the purpose of that “Passing the Torch” meeting was not to pass the torch to me at all. I have been running with the “torch” for nearly a decade already. Evangelist Bonnke’s intention was to pass the torch to the next generation of Africans in his Farewell Crusade in Lagos, Nigeria. It just so happened that, although it was completely spontaneous, Evangelist Bonnke also laid hands on me publicly and passed the mantle of his ministry. Again, this was already a reality for along time, but it had never happened in public or in an official way. It was a very special moment for me as Evangelist Bonnke laid hands on my wife and I and prayed over us. God has given me a mandate for a “Decade of Double Harvest” and now we are looking for a historic harvest of souls in Africa over the next ten years.
Q: How can our readers pray for you and CfaN?
A: This vision for a “Decade of Double Harvest” will stretch us to the limits. We need prayer now more than ever. Pray that the Lord will draw the lost as never before, that He will give us wisdom and Divine strategy, that He will do mighty miracles, signs and wonders, that He will provide for our financial needs and protect our team working so hard on the field.
Q: How can believers get involved in this ministry who want to be a part?
A: They can get in touch with us through our website CfaN.org
Q: Looking ahead, what is your vision for this next season of ministry?
A: God has given us a vision for a “Decade of Double Harvest” in the crusade ministry. Since 1987 we have seen over 77-million people come to Christ in our Gospel Crusades in Africa. Over the next ten years I believe we will see that number double to more than 150-million. I also believe that God is going to give us and open door for the Gospel in places on the African continent that have been closed to us in the past. In addition, I believe the Lord is going to help us to raise up an army of evangelists in Africa that will spark a movement of evangelism.
Q: Your program airs weekly on Sundays at 4:30pm ET here on Daystar! What can viewers expect when they tune in?
A: The Christ for all Nations television show on Daystar gives you a front row seat to one of the greatest moves of God in history taking place right now on the African continent, where millions of people are coming to Christ. We host amazing guests and always pray for our viewers – that the same miracles we are experiencing in Africa would take place in their lives as well.