November 12, 2010

Does God still heal today?

The second bad night. I’m sure I hadn’t had more than three hours’ sleep when the alarm went off at 4.45 am. We dragged ourselves out of bed and tumbled into the bus still half asleep. Because our group was twice as big this time and a team from Brazil had joined us, we were going to eat in two shifts. Unfortunately, we were the first. The breakfast made up for it all again – just like yesterday. I was in amazingly good form and was looking forward to the morning prayer meeting with Reinhard Bonnke at 6.30 in our little group. To think that he preached to us with the same passion as he did yesterday to a crowd of 150,000 is really amazing. I’m thankful that I can be so close to such a great man of God.
Daniel Kolenda sat next to me and talked to his 6-year-old son.

8 am – Fire Conference. We went to the same field but there were fewer people and seats had been set out. Although my home town has a population the size of Ogbomosho’s, back home only a small percentage of the people would have turned up. There are not as many active Christians there as gathered together here.

Daniel Kolenda preached about the burning bush and said that God wants to set us on fire. He found it interesting that John the Baptist was the first to talk about baptism by fire. However, the joke was only funny in English.
Then Peter van den Berg preached on Ezekiel 37, where God raised the dead bones to life. The text leapt out at me and occupied my thoughts for the next hour. It was like a roadmap for revival. Peter spoke about trusting in God’s commitment to one’s own life. Definitely very encouraging.
The leaders promised that the fire would fall on the last day. I am really looking forward to that.

Back in the “best hotel in town” I wrote down my thoughts on the previous day. The healings were still bothering me. There is too much happening here for my small German faith. I wondered whether the testimonies to healing were faked by the CfaN team, and then rejected the thought. The CfaN people are far too honest for that; it would be the last thing that I would expect of them. Perhaps the people were simply play-acting so that they had a chance to appear on the stage. I had to reject that idea, too, as the emotional reactions of the people who had been healed were too strong for that. Maybe a few of them do climb onto the stage like that but they were probably the exceptions.
I can’t quite believe that it is real. That Jesus healed a long time ago and in a far-off place – okay. That it happens in China or India – I’ve nothing against that. But here, before my own eyes …
If I accept it as the truth, other questions surface: Why doesn’t something like that happen in Germany? Can it happen in Germany? Can God heal through me?
For me to accept the miracle here means having faith to believe that God can heal through me in Germany. That was just too much for me. Over lunch Lars and I had a good chat with Thomas about healing (he doesn’t give up). I started to accept healing here as the work of God.

At the hotel, I caught up on my sleep, overcame my disgust and took a shower.
5 pm – we set off again for the Great Gospel Campaign site. In the bus a little competition started to see who could spot the most people on a moped. Someone spotted six and took a photo. The people here use every means of transport available to get to the site. People cling to the sides of light vans, trucks are used as buses … but most people walk.

When we arrived, the praise and worship was already under way. The Africans were singing so loud and so full of joy that my spiritual eyes saw heaven standing open. I would love to see something like that in Heilbronn. How could that work? A group of Brazilians started dancing. All I did was tap my foot. I can’t deny my German roots.
Reinhard preached about Jesus and the adulteress with astounding authority. Once again, thousands were converted. But I was waiting for the healings.

From where I was sitting I had a good view of the area where testimonies are collected. Daniel Kolenda again took about 15 minutes to pray for the sick. He didn’t ask but commanded the illnesses to leave. As each illness was named, the crowd roared “Amen!” like a plane taking off.
Then I could see dozens of people streaming into the witness area. Deep in my heart I began to believe that God was healing there on a large scale, that he wants to and will do that in my country, too, and that he can heal through me.

At night Lars and I used a penknife to repair the ceiling fan over the bed and I got a better night’s sleep.
„This is Africa!“

(Follow Stephan in German)

About the Author

Stephan Mittelstädt

The 2010 European winner. He is a student with ICI and studies Evangelism. He is a member of the Pentecostal church in Heilbronn.

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