That evening, 550,000 people gathered on 80 acres of bare ground to listen to Bonnke, a pastor's son with an unquenchable thirst for Africa's lost souls. Spiritually hungry Nigerians—whose lives are bounded by poverty, violence, and an unforgiving climate—could hardly wait to feast on the good news the preacher promised to bring. Many Nigerians walked hours, traveling through the giant, slum-like city to arrive at the spare crusade site. Neither chairs nor portable toilets were on hand. Some people relieved themselves on the field itself.
As the pulsating drums and opening music subsided, Bonnke looked out into a sea of humanity and began his message, using simple words in a vibrant, heavily accented English: "Jesus is the Savior of Nigeria!" he shouted. "All of Nigeria is going to heaven!"
Bonnke completed his "hot gospel message" (as he calls ...1