Hundreds attend historic crusade

af Nation Newspapers
Lagt på d. 24/07-01




Thousands of Kenyans yesterday swarmed the University of Nairobi open grounds to take part in the historic miracle crusade by the visiting Christian author and healing evangelist Pastor Benny Hinn.

The American evangelist drove the crowd of Christians into ecstasy and frenzy with a powerful sermon spiced with the humour and eloquence usually associated with his television evangelism.

At least 103 churches and ministries participated in organising Pastor Hinns crusade. The miracle crusade minister is being hosted by the Nairobi Lighthouse Church. Apart from the 1996 papal visit to the country, no other religious crusade has attracted so many people and consumed so much in terms of resources.

The chairman of the crusades organising committee - Pastor Don Matheny of the Nairobi Lighthouse Church - said over 10,000 ushers and counsellors who had been meeting at different venues for training were participating in the prayer and healing session.

The loud prayers were drowned by the choir of 750 and the deafening broadcast relayed by some 78 speakers. It was a breath-taking experience to see a forest of hands go up in the air as the faithful responded to Pastor Hinns open-palm greeting.

The open ground, which serves as the graduation square and playing field for the countrys oldest university, was an hive of activity as Christians drawn from diverse denominations prayed, sang and danced in praise of the Lord.

It was a scene to behold as hundreds of university students perched atop the roofs of their halls of residence and the central catering unit to get a better view of the proceedings.
Pastor Hinn who arrived in the country from South Africa where he held a similar crusade was accompanied by Pastor Fred Roberts of the Durban Christian Centre, SA.

The faithful some of whom had travelled from as far as Kisumu, Mombasa and Meru nudged and elbowed each other in a bid to get a clearer glimpse of the Israeli-born televangelist who is renown for his best-selling Christian books.

Though Pastor Hinn was scheduled to take the podium at 3 pm people started trickling in to the sports ground from as early as 8 am. Many of them were however frustrated by the magnitude of congestion and the fact that the organisers had not thought of mounting monitoring screens in strategic places so as to allow those who were far way from the dais to get a better view.

Pastor Hinns sermon was anchored on a message of hope, healing and salvation for Kenyans. He brought to the city his famous touch prayer drama. When he prayed for the Christians to encounter the power of the Holy Spirit, he asked the spirit to touch them. Those that got touched fell down, kicking wildly while gesticulating and speaking in tongues.

He prayed for those who suffer from all manner of disabilities and the sick, especially those ailing grappling with the HIV/Aids conditions. There an heavy jam along Uhuru Highway and the adjoining streets as the human flow to the sports ground slowed down the movement of vehicles.

Getting a parking space within the area was a nightmarish experience. Many of the motorists opted to park their vehicles on the island on both sides of the highway. Others left their vehicles in the nearby Chiromo campus and Waiyaki Way and walked to the venue.

The African Air Rescue was on hand with their first-aiders and fleet of ambulances ready to deal with any emergencies. Their presence was necessitate by the scorching sun and the fact that some of the faithful could succumb to fatigue having spent the night there.

The pastors second and last crusade takes off this morning at the same venue. This is the first time the cleric is visiting East Africa.

The crusade funded exclusively by the Benny Hinn International in America. Though the cost of organising the crusade has not been given, it is expected to run in to millions of shillings.

He speaks English, Hebrew, arabic and French.

The miracle crusade minister was born on December, 3 1952 at Jaffa town in Israel where his father was the mayor.

The pastor has personally met and prayed with world leaders such as Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, Ghanas Jerry Rawlings, King Abdullah of Jordan and the late Israeli premier Yitzak Rabin. Pastor Hinn is the founder of the World Outreach Centre, a fast growing 7000-member religious outfit based at Orlando, Florida.

Locally, Pastor Hinn is known for his daily and weekly This is Your day television broadcast which is beamed in 140 countries. Here in Kenya the series are aired by the Nairobi-based Family TV Channel 45.

Among the books he has authored are: Good Morning Holy Spirit, The Anointing, Lord I Need a Miracle, Power in the Blood, Bibles way to Success, and This is your day.

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Debat: Hundreds attend historic crusade

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