A Hero of the Faith

This week, I had the privilege of having a meal with my hero in the faith – the evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. What a man. What a legacy. At almost 80, he’s still lucid, still strong, still full of the Holy Spirit, and still on FIRE. I related this story to Bro. Bonnke, of how I first met him in 1998.

I was a young pastor, with a fledgling ministry, and I get a call inviting me to lunch with the evangelist. It was a dream come true. I remember driving to the luncheon, praying all the way there, hoping I wouldn’t say anything embarrassing.

There were eight of us and the conversation revolved around what was happening in Africa. I took a deep breath, and I asked Bro. Bonnke to explain how the anointing works and how I could flow in it. He literally started preaching. That’s what I love about the man – whether it’s eight people, 8,000, or 800,000, he’s the same. By the second question, he was ready to give an altar call. Then a third question and I’ll never forget the moment.

He looked me in the eye and said, “Young man, I want to pray for you.” He laid hands on me and, as long as I live, I’ll never forget what he said: “Many are called, but few are chosen, and the Lord says, ‘I chose you’.” I was wrecked. I went home and everything changed in my life – my prayer life, my preaching, my passion. There was a definite impartation when the evangelist laid his hands upon me.
 
Then in 2002, we had the privilege of hosting Christ For All Nation’s Fire (CfaN) Conference, in Singapore. Up to that point, we had never embarked on such a huge task. I was appointed co-chair of the organising committee and that conference propelled Cornerstone to greater faith. It was our first foray in a mega event. Then, again in 2005, we held a 2nd Fire Conference, this time at the Indoor Stadium, and again, God showed up marvellously.

All those years of training, stretching and sitting at the feet of one of the greatest evangelists of all time is a definite life-changing experience. In 2004, I remember sitting in my living room and watching a video of Bro. Bonnke preaching and he was sharing his well-known story about George Jeffreys and how he received a mantle from the man of God. As I watched it, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me powerfully and I broke and wept. I cannot explain to you what transpired but, in the Spirit, I was connected to Mr. Rees Howells and the Bible College of Wales. I just knew it. I know it sounds strange but there was this ‘knowing’.

Of course, I couldn’t have imagined it but in 2012, we were led by God to redeem and purchase the Bible College of Wales and God brought back to me that experience in my living room all those years before. You see, Bro. Bonnke is probably the most famous student who graduated from the Bible College of Wales and when we redeemed the college, I felt deeply connected in the Spirit to CfaN as well.
 
We had the opportunity to ask him several questions about his time as a student in the College and one of the things he told us was that they didn’t allow speaking in tongues in the College grounds. But he continued to pray in tongues and they allowed him to because they thought he was praying in German. But the most precious lesson he said he learnt was that of trusting God for finances. He was challenged to give all his money away and to trust God for his provision, a test which he said he passed, but with much struggle.

The lunch finally came to an end, but not before Bro. Bonnke said the most humbling thing to me. The great man of God said, “Brother, I honour the work you’ve done, and what God is doing through you all over world and I want to stay connected.” I was deeply humbled. Here’s a man totally committed to preaching a pure Gospel in the simplest of terms possible.

I end with a story told me by Pastor Larry Stockstill. At a meal with Bro. Bonnke, they discussed a pastor who had fallen into some sort of sin – and Bonnke seemed a little detached. Bro. Larry then asked Bro. Bonnke what he thought about the matter and Bonnke, looking upwards said, “All Africa shall be saved!”

That’s who he is. For him, plundering hell to populate heaven leaves no room for neutrality. It allows no stopping point. He’s Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.


Ps. Yang Tuck Yoong

The Journey of Faith

Over this weekend, we cross Singapore’s 54th year as a nation. I can consider my journey as a Christian living in Singapore and God’s faithfulness to us as a nation, but I’m thinking about my heavenly citizenship – I want to tell of my recent visit to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This is my most unforgettable encounter with a giant of faith in our lifetime. Words are insufficient to express the immense overwhelming presence of Evangelist Billy Graham when I stood on the grounds. Although he’s no more with us, who he was and all he’d done while on earth was tangibly felt that day.

As I entered the grounds, the first place I stood at was the grave of Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth Bell Graham. Memories, recollections of the innumerable scenes of thousands read more…

I Want To Help

A group of us has been in the United States of America this past week attending a conference on church growth. The unique thing about this conference is that it doesn’t advertise the conference. News about it spreads only through word-of-mouth. Into its 9th year, the 6,000 tickets for this conference get snapped up within hours of its release each year.
 
The vision is to help 1,000 churches break the 1,000 growth barrier. It isn’t focused on showcasing a lineup of incredible speakers but structured more like a school. Hundreds of their staff and volunteers walk around everywhere, ready to answer any question you may have about how something runs in the church. Everything you see and encounter is curated to reinforce what’s taught during the sessions.
 
Over the three days of the conference, read more…

From Calling to Covenant

I’m often asked regarding the calling of God “How do I know the call of God in my life?” or “How do I know if God has called me into full-time ministry?” And I’ve come to realise that while giving them some guiding principles and advising them that “You’ll know when the time comes” was helpful to a certain extent, I wasn’t really answering their question. Neither will I be able to fully do so.

I can share from my personal testimonies of God’s divine leading and providence in my life, and listeners will be wowed and encouraged by my journey of faith in the Lord. Yet, as sincere as that may be, I’d then see an ‘encouraged face’ turned into a ‘blank face’ because, after all, the calling of God is a personal journey that you need to embark read more…

A Place For You!

What an amazing time to be alive! I’m so excited that it’s Cell Month once again – where we get together to celebrate and build the Body through the cell community.

We can never underemphasise the importance of community in the Christian faith – it’s a place for transformation, edification, and fellowship. If you watched the Cell Month video last weekend, you’d have gotten a sneak peek of what cell’s all about.

1. A Place For Transformation

In 2001, Malcolm Gladwell authored a secular marketing book entitled ‘The Tipping Point’. A tipping point is when an idea, product or movement becomes accepted by the masses. One of his studies revolved around John Wesley and the Methodist Movement. ‘Wesley realised that if you wanted to bring about a fundamental change in people’s belief and behaviour, a change that would read more…

The House That Built Me

Over 10 years ago, we planted a tiny plant in our garden, slightly more than a foot tall, not knowing that one day, that tiny plant would grow into an imposing, gigantic tree that would dominate our entire garden and even the street we’re on.
 
It’s now grown to well over 60 feet, but it hasn’t come without a cost. The roots of the tree now spread threateningly all over the garden, absorbing much of the nutrients, and the whole area around it is just sandy. No grass seems to be able to grow, because it cannot compete. So, really, the tree has been able to rise but only at the expense of the rest of the other plants in the garden. 
 
My point? There’s no such thing in the Kingdom of God as read more…

Community Is Life-Giving

We set aside each July to focus on life as a community as part of our church journey. And when we belong to the cell community, we can walk this journey out.

Community is life-giving and Scripture exhorts us that we’re better together than alone. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, ‘And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’

This idea of community develops from the sense of responsibility we have for one another and we’re encouraged to take care of our brethren while following the Word of the Lord. God created us to desire companionship and we do better when we have someone to love, serve with, have fun read more…

Are You Stupid?

There’s a word that’s banned in our family. Actually there are lots of words that are disallowed in our home – profanities, rude language, angry vituperation, and the list goes on.

Essentially, that’s what you get when you’ve three boys in the home. Still, my wife, Wendy, hates it when we use the word ‘stupid’ on one another. I agree, we don’t use the word for its literary value, but more as a means to hurt one another.
 
But, guess what, the Bible uses the word ‘stupid’! If you haven’t read Proverbs recently, it’s time to make it one of your regular reads. After all, the whole book is about wisdom and, if there’s something we desperately need in all our lives, it’s more wisdom.

The word actually appears three times in the Bible, read more…

What About You, Daddy?

Four Sundays ago, on 26 May 2019, after I had served at the last service for the weekend and sent off some guests who were in town, I went to pick up my little boy, David, from the Children’s Church office as he had stayed back to play with his friends while waiting for me.

We came back to my desk and it was already 2.15pm. I was hungry and remembered I had a hot dog which was meant to be my breakfast. As I was about to bite into the bun, I suddenly remembered that my wife had texted me earlier to settle David’s lunch. So I offered him the bun.

What he did next touched my heart deeply. He asked me as he held the hot dog in his tiny hand and pushed it towards me, “What about read more…

The Promise of The Father

One of the biggest highlights of the church calendar is our Annual Family Camp. It’s probably the one event that we look forward to more than any other each year. We had an overwhelming response with more than 1,000 campers travelling up to Melaka for a 4-day convocation. In my opinion, this year’s camp is probably one of the best we’ve ever had as we grow from glory to glory.

Through the speakers, there was a deeper revelation of the spiritual realm and the things of God (1 Cor 2:9). Incidentally, the camp was held between Pentecost Sunday and Father’s Day Weekend. During the week, I was intrigued by the occurrence of a particular phrase that may not be altogether inappropriate for our consideration since it’s Father’s Day this weekend. It’s the phrase ‘The Promise of the Father.’

So the read more…

Send The Spirit Now, For Jesus’ Sake

BLESS WALES was a transformational event that went beyond our wildest expectations. After months of praying, planning, meetings, and interacting with pastors in Wales, it culminated in three days of power encounters that revitalised many Christians in Wales.

Organised by the Bible College of Wales, in conjunction with partner churches in Wales and Cornerstone Singapore, the conference featured powerful speakers such as Ben Fitzgerald and Dr. Sam Matthews. We knew things were going to be different after the first night, which really was epic – and I don’t say that lightly.

Ben Fitzgerald was up on the pulpit to speak but, even before he could get into his message, the Holy Spirit took over and wave after wave of worship, intercession, and prophecy just flowed from the congregation, and the whole meeting took a life on its own. And it read more…

God is Enough!

The last 6 days from Saturday, 25th May, have been incredible. It was 4 years ago on this day, after 18 months of restoration and decorating works, that we re-opened and dedicated the Bible College of Wales in Swansea. On this same day last Saturday, we held our first BCW-School of Ministry Alumni gathering. It was a most unforgettable celebration and a precious time of intercession for Wales and the nations by the alumni. Praise God for the fire that is burning strong in all of their hearts, with the Holy Spirit leading the way.

Moving from this glorious time to the next, was the astounding ‘Bless Wales’ Conference in Swansea. God was among us and His presence was awesome. Something significant lifted off as many testified of God blowing away the grey shroud that covered Wales, of old wells read more…

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