Elizabeth Simmons, a freelance journalist for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla., came to Orlando for the Christ for all Nations (CfaN) Good News crusade on her own dime and with a twofold agenda.
Not only did she want to help hundreds of thousands of Times-Union readers discover Jesus through her news reports Friday and Saturday, but she also came to support her spiritual mother, Elizabeth “Bebe” Brown, who came to Orlando with a friend from Tennessee.
Brown, whom Simmons has known for two years and credits with helping her turn her life around for Jesus, is physically blind and came to Orlando believing for her healing.
“Faith—it’s all about faith,” Simmons said. “We need to not limit God and start believing that He will do what He said He is going to do. I love God with everything I am and I have. I know He can save and He can restore, and that's what we're believing for."
Bonnke and his CfaN team held its initial Good News crusade on Friday night in front of more than 10,000 at the Amway Center.
Since 1987, 75 million souls in Africa have come to salvation through the ministry of CfaN. Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke says God is ready to pour out the same blessing on the United States.
“We have seen God do so many mighty things in Africa,” he says. “But I know that he is the same God, and He will shake America. America shall be saved. America will be saved, and this is the day of salvation.”
Bonnke isn’t naïve. He knows well the moral issues that America faces—abortion, same-sex marriage and discouragement, among many. He hears the negativity daily about how America has lost its soul.
But Bonnke isn’t buying it.
“This is not the day of damnation; this is the day of salvation,” he says. “Do you know what Satan hates about us as human beings? He hates the image of God in us. He wants to remove it and replace it with his own image. He’s got a big sledgehammer, and he tries to flatten the Spirit of God. So many people suffer under those hammerings of sin, and they don’t know how to help themselves.
“Drug addiction, alcoholism, immorality—it’s blow after blow after blow until the image of God is almost gone. But Jesus intercepted that hammer for us. He stops the devil if we seek refuge in Him. He will deliver you from bondages, compulsions, fears and tears ... only Jesus saves.”
CfaN President and CEO Daniel Kolenda says there is only one thing that can remove the spiritual darkness that has engulfed America.
“The United States will be saved only through a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirt,” he says. “I see the seeds of a movement of evangelism and the Holy Spirit that will sweep across the nation from sea to shining sea. Our nation is in desperate need of revival. The solution won’t come from the White House, and it won’t be fixed through the polls. It will only come from Jesus.”
And Bonnke unashamedly has a word for so-called “Sunday Christians” and backsliders.
“I don’t know why they always have to slide away from Jesus,” he says. “They cheat like the world, tell foul jokes just like the world—everything just like the world. I have a question for them: Why can’t you slide away from the devil? Jesus’ arms are wide open, and He’s ready to save you now.”
Grammy Award-winning artist Israel Houghton opened the crusade and brought those at the Amway Center to their feet with traditional favorites like “I Am a Friend of God” and “Mighty to Save.”