Peter Vandenberg is the organizational genius behind the largest harvest of souls in history. He is the Executive Vice President of Christ for All Nations, serving first under Reinhard Bonnke and now under Daniel Kolenda. Not only has he helped to organize massive crusades, he is also an adventurer who loves to hang glide, fly and airplane, and scuba dive. Today he shares about the many adventures he has experienced while serving God.
About: Peter Vandenberg is the vice president of Christ for all Nations. He has been an integral part of the ministry for almost 40 years, first ministering alongside Reinhard Bonnke and now with Daniel Kolenda.
Peter was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia. After completing his studies, he took on the position of General Manager of the large family motor dealership. He married Evangeline Raper in 1969 and together they were very active in the local church in Harare where, for a number of years, Peter served as youth leader and Evangeline as choir director and worship leader. When the Lord called them to full-time ministry in the mid 70’s, he gave up his position in the family business and they left Zimbabwe, together with their three young children, to go to Elim Bible College in the UK. When Evangeline’s brother joined them at bible school, they launched a music ministry, traveling thousands of miles preaching and singing all over Britain for seven years.
In 1981 they once again felt God speak to them, this time to become a part of the then fairly new ministry of Christ for all Nations, led by Reinhard Bonnke. Since that day Peter has traveled the world, both in his administrative capacity and preaching at CfaN Fire Conferences where the Lord continues to use him powerfully. His focus has been and remains the equipping of pastors and church workers for their ministries, challenging them to boldly take a hold of all that the Holy Spirit wants to do through them.
Buy His Book: Into the Unknown: Recklessly Following the Call of God
Questions I ask Peter Vandenberg
How did you join CFaN?
What were the early days of CFaN like?
What made Reinhard Bonnke such a great leader?
How did CFaN develop their methodology for doing evangelism?
Listen to Daniel King, the Evangelism Coach, on The Evangelism Podcast
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Peter Vandenberg is the organizational genius behind the largest harvest of souls in history. He is the executive vice-president of Christ for all nations serving first, under Reinhardt, Bunky. And now under Daniel Kolenda, not only has he helped to organize massive crusades, he is also an adventurer who loves to hang glide, fly an airplane and scuba dive today. He shares about the many adventures he has experienced while serving God,
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:31):
God Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Welcome to the evangelism podcast with dr. Daniel King we’re Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:10):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. We are in Kahala, Tanzania for a great Christ for all nations crusade. Last night, many people were saved and we were absolutely delighted when Peter Vandenberg came to the crusade. We’re so honored to have him here, and he has agreed to join us for this podcast today, brother Peter, thank you
Peter Vandenberg (01:34):
For being here. It’s great to be here. I mean, we’re just so happy to be back in Tanzania, back in Africa, inaction, seeing people saved, seen people healed, delivered the power of God being demonstrated while most places and most ministries seem to be paralyzed by this pandemic. But you know, by God’s grace, here we are in full action with five crusades going on right now in Tanzania. It’s wonderful.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:59):
Peter Vandenberg is the executive vice-president of Christ for all nations. And he has been part of Christ for all nations ever since the very early days. And it is really because of his organizational genius, that Christ for all nations has been so successful in, in so many nations. Tell us, how did you first come here?
Peter Vandenberg (02:20):
The Christ for all nations? Well, I felt a calling to the ministry. I was an engineer all my life motor engineering and aviation running a family business. And I felt the Holy spirit speak to me about going into full-time ministry. So being an engineer, I figured if you, you have to train, you know, if you’re going to do something, you got to train. So I said, I’m going to go to Bible school. I had a wife and three children way back in 1974. We lived in the little country of then Rhodesia Zimbabwe now, and the only theological schools or Bible colleges around were in South Africa where they spoke Afrikaans. It’s a derivative of the Dutch language, which I didn’t. So I needed to get to somewhere where they spoke English. So we applied to United States where people from that our country went there.
Peter Vandenberg (03:02):
So from our own church, couples have gone to apply to a Bible school in Zion and design Institute. I think it was in, in who knows where Rhode Island that’s right. And the president, this is 1974 wrote back to me and said, this cannot be the call of God. You can’t go to Bible school. This was 1974 with a wife and three children. The baby was 10 months old. She said, you need to re-examine. This is not the call of God. Well forgive me. But I said to my wife, this, this, this Dean is an idiot. God has chorus. You know, so we have applied just really by default to a bottle school in England. And you know, we were at war with England at the time our country had declared unilaterally independence. The way the Americans did, the Americans were much more successful than we were.
Peter Vandenberg (03:48):
We, we failed, but we applied to England and believe it or not, they accepted me. And we went, they said we never had a family here ever, but if you feel goddess spoken, then they’d come. And so I went in and it was during our time in the United Kingdom, we started ministering. We were singing gospel musicians. We were evangelists. And we had heard of this guy called Reinhard Bonnke. He was a young German missionary in Africa and he was doing something interesting things we’d heard about it. And we were in the city of Birmingham, the second largest city in, in England. And I was helping some old ladies that we call the Birmingham, grandmothers. They loved our family. And when we weren’t on the road, which is most of the time that we visited with them. And she said, would you assemble a piece of furniture for me?
Peter Vandenberg (04:35):
You know, in those days you bought the furniture flat pack, you had to build it. So I said, sure. And I was doing this and putting it up in a bedroom. It was a cupboard. And on her bed laying a pamphlet, like a magazine. And I recognized that it was from the Serrano Banca young guy. It was called revival report and it was lying open. And so while I was working, I looked at it, wow, there was a picture of massive 18 Wheeler trucks. And it said something about the trucks. Well, that caught my attention because that was my background, you know? And I looked at it and it said, we building the biggest tent in the world. We need these vehicles to transport. And Colonel Gadaffi has got some real fancy brand new military vehicles. She doesn’t need, we need to buy 10 of them.
Peter Vandenberg (05:15):
And as I read this, the Holy spirit spoke to me and said, you have a part to play in this ministry. That doesn’t make sense. You know, we were doing great. We were, we were the leading evangelists. We were leading gospel musicians in, in, in the United Kingdom, in England at the time. And I said, well, what is that? But it wouldn’t leave me. And I told my wife and she said, Oh, well, you know, let’s just see, see what happens. And can you believe that just maybe a month later, I did all the booking for our ministry and the it, the finances and whatever a guy phoned us. And he said, I know you, your group, we were called a farro. It’s an African word for Shalom. And so I know your group, doesn’t cancel stuff. You booked up six, seven months ahead. But this has happened.
Peter Vandenberg (05:58):
We have an evangelist coming and we have the city hall of Birmingham booked. It’s Arizona heard of in the seventies, early seventies. And we want your group to run the meetings. You have to do everything there. And, and I said, who’s the evangelist. You have this head. It’s a German guy from South Africa called Reinhardt Bunky. Wow. Well, all right, let me work on it. I worked on it. We were able to change all our bookings for that week and ran. It came and we worked together for the week. I never said a word to him. You know, on the last day I seen him run. It could, I could speak to you. I went back to where he stayed. We didn’t stay in hotels in those days, staying with, he was staying with people. And I said to him, this is what I feel the Holy spirit said to me, you have a part to play in the ministry.
Peter Vandenberg (06:40):
And he said to me what he said, well, you know, I don’t need a preacher. I don’t need a singer. And he said, what about your own ministry? I said, yeah, I’m at a hundred ministries going great. But God spoke. Well, he said, I don’t have anything for you. And it was like a very uncomfortable silence. And I thought, well, I really felt the Holy spirit spoke. No, he said, sorry, I better go. So I said, okay, well, good, good. Not drawn to God. And he said, there’s one thing, but it’s nothing for you. I said, what is that? He said, our transport department is chaos. I need somebody to knock out transport department back in South Africa where he was based into action. I said, Reinhart, that’s my profession. He said, what would you come and do that? I said, yes, I’ll come and do that.
Peter Vandenberg (07:21):
So he went away to Norway. He said, I’ll call you on my way back. And he did it a week or two ladies had you still want to go? I said, yes. Well, we, we got ready to leave, sell everything in the United Kingdom, go to South Africa, the denomination that I was ordained with and whom we were there, leading evangelists were very unhappy. You know, they called me to the Curatorium, that’s the kind of the spiritual committee. And they said, did the Holy spirit tell you to go and become a mechanic for bunkie? I said, no, he did not. He said to me, you have a part to play in this ministry. And that’s the only park. So I’m just going, you know, well, they, they said, you know, we, we don’t ordain motor mechanics. We’ll review this in six months time and you could lose your ordination.
Peter Vandenberg (08:00):
So I said, well, I’m be very sad to do that, but I’m, I’m going to be obedient. And we went travel or the whole family joined Ronit. I got put blue overalls coveralls on and got going, putting the transport department in place. And as it happened, doing that, I touched the entire organization with structure and discipline that hadn’t been there before. And I joke, I mean, I said it used to say to run it when I joined CFN it was like the book of judges. Everybody did what was right in their own eyes and unknowingly. I brought a hole and controlled it three months after I joined run, it came marching up to the workshops. You had a big workshop, like vehicle maintenance place. And he said, come with me. And in my coveralls, we walked back to the main building. We all lived in a, in a ministry compound.
Peter Vandenberg (08:48):
He called the entire staff. And he said, from this moment on, Peter is going to be what we call in those days, the general coordinator of seafood, he will run everything and everybody went, huh? Me included. I said, what? And then he said any questions? And there were none. He said, well, hallelujah. And he went back to his office and I sort of thought now, like, you know, everybody dispersed. And I went and sat in the office that I was given big fancy office, nothing happened. So I went back to the workshop, you know? Well, as it happened within a very short period of time it fell on my lap to run everything under rhino. And I’ve been doing that. In fact, in six weeks from today, I will celebrate 40 years with crossroad nations.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:27):
That is so beautiful. The, the longevity of your commitment to helping Christ for all nations. And, and, and Reinhard, Bonnke his autobiography. He credits you with helping to organize everything. It’s, it’s really amazing. What were those early days of Christ for all nations? Like,
Peter Vandenberg (09:45):
Well, the, you know, from the very first moment across four nations was then as it is now driven by the, the commission of God to preach the gospel, to all make disciples of all men. And that was the driving force. He knows that just as strong then, as it is today, under Daniel Kolenda, his leadership, when we see millions of people saved every year, it was just as strong then, but we were not as effective. You know, the things were small. We were doing crusades. The structures were not in place. As I said, it was actually chaotic. And but, but, you know, rhinos vision was powerful in those early days as it was the day he died, you know, never diminished. It’s just the structure in those days was not there. And the recognition and the track record and the credibility, we’re not there yet to, to be the vehicle for what turned out to be.
Peter Vandenberg (10:35):
Well, I can’t say for sure, but what is what I know the greatest move of evangelism? Well, maybe in, in modern times, for sure, maybe in, in Christendom. And what happened is in those early days, we punched away preached the gospel Reinhard and he just got energy from everywhere, right? Until the day he died, he pushed, everybody pushed everywhere. We just push, push, push and ask. The ministry, began to grow. People got saved, people got healed. First of all, we were in, we were part of one denomination. We soon written Reinhard said, you know what? The evangelist job is actually to fly over all fences, not just to be stuck at one place, although we were loyal to denomination and we, to this day, we are still denied ordained leaders on, in various denominations, but he said, we need to be released. And they released us to work with all denominations that had began to grow. People got saved, people got healed and, and the dynamic increased and the structure came by God’s grace. I was able to do that, put a structure in place, and it just began to grow and grow and grow in Jesus name.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:35):
So in the early days, see fan had a small tent. Then they built a bigger tent. Then they built the biggest tent in the history of the world. And that didn’t last long because it was destroyed by some wind. And then they started to go out and meet on the open field. And it turned out that no in history
Peter Vandenberg (11:54):
Could accommodate all the people that started to come. So how did CFAN develop its methodology of doing ministry? Well, you know, that goes right back to the very, very first gospel crusade that Reinhard did. It’s in his biography, his autobiography living a life of fire, he talked about, he was a missionary, you know, in the German context of a missionary, which was basically run a mission station, you know, be a handyman build buildings. And it was more kind of technical and administrative than spiritual actually. But Reinhard was just the opposite. You know, he was not an Ungerman. Like he wasn’t technical. He always said, my hand is, my hands are all thumbs and he couldn’t drive a nail straight, very unusual for a German, but he burned with a fire of God. He just wanted to preach the gospel. And so as a missionary, he he he felt the Holy spirit spoke to me.
Peter Vandenberg (12:45):
He went up actually to a little country called Botswana that’s North of South Africa. He was based in South Africa at the time. And he was going there just to do a promo for a radio work. And he was, he was working in radio work and preaching and so on. And he went up there and se he was a poor missionary. He landed at the airport. He didn’t even have money for bus fare. So he walked into town and as he walked into town, he walked past this place and it had a sign that said national stadium, you know, I mean, that sounds very grand today, but are we talking now in 1973? And it was just like a big football field, really soccer field. And he said, as he looked at it, the Holy spirit said, I want you to preach my gospel in the stadium.
Peter Vandenberg (13:24):
He said, Oh, I love to Lord. I always wanted to preach in a stadium, but nobody came. And so honestly they just felt a burning. So he forgot about the radio station. And he went to the pastor that was meeting him, who he reminds us, had only 20 members. And he said, praise God, I’ve come to talk about the radio, but wait. But God spoke to me. He said he must preach the gospel in the stadium, but I want you to, we want higher than national stadium. And we’re going to preach the gospel. We’re going to see people say, and he said, he saw the pastas Frisco long. They said, national stadium, what do you want to do with the national stadium? You know, I only have 20 people. And I said, Oh, I didn’t know about your 20 people, but, but God spoke.
Peter Vandenberg (14:03):
God spoke. Well, the guy bless him. He said, all right, I’ll help you. And then ran it city. He went to all the various churches and said, God spoke to me, speech. The gospel in the national said, I want you to get on board. He said, they all looked down and they said, will you be Reinhard Bonnke? What, no, we’ve got this program. That probably means not a single one would cooperate only the guy with these 20, you know? And he wasn’t even that very excited about it. As we went back to Johannesburg, told us staff, we prayed, we prepared, we got in, in in mini buses, those days, folks, wagon mini buses drove up with us with the stadium hired. And he said, he just was burning with water. What’s going to happen. Absolutely unknown. He said, and the first night, we’re not that many people, but the power of God started to move.
Peter Vandenberg (14:50):
And he said, know, the last night they were just thousands of people. They said the stadium was full, never seen anything like it. And he said, and the Holy spirit said to me, pray for the baptism in the Holy spirit. And he said, my German minds, Lord in a public stadium, come on, we do that on waiting Terry meetings on the day of Pentecost in the back room of our church. And we close all the curtains and windows in case the people hear us speaking in tongues. I think we crazy. You want me to pray in the steady, but he set it up. The Lord said yes, because I, the word of God says in the last days I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. So on. I said, okay, I cannot do it. Or any sort of law. I felt very uncomfortable.
Peter Vandenberg (15:29):
People had been getting saved and healed. It was great. But now the last night, and he said, he brought a caught up, the one guy who was eventually worked for, whereas he is a bassoon man, African man, Michael Collie sang is now a Bishop and a fine man of God worked us for 20 years and said, talk about the Holy spirit. And, and, and, and then we will pray for Baptist and it’s pretty and Michael dirty pitch, but he, he forgot to mention speaking in tongues. He didn’t even, he didn’t even say it. He said, the Holy spirit will come. Bond will come and praise. Oh, I didn’t even mention speaking in Tonga. My goodness. And he thought, shall I speak? He said, no, there’s no time. I’m just going to praise it. Right. Lift your hands and pray. And he said, and the power of the Holy spirit fell.
Peter Vandenberg (16:08):
He said, right? The, the, the amount of people there may be five, 6,000 people. Nobody’s really sure, but it was a huge crowd for the time. And he said, the power of the Holy spirit fell. People were slain in the spirit that was speaking in tongues, people were being healed, be delivered. He said it was Holy chaos. He said, and at the end of it, he said, this will be the pattern of our ministry. We will have a crusade. We will get the biggest venue. We can, we will get as much church participation, by the way, all the churches who didn’t participate. When when I saw it was happening, they came and said, would you let our choir sing in, in the evening meeting? And of course they came on board, they all got converts. It’s, don’t run. It said, this will be the pattern.
Peter Vandenberg (16:48):
We will take the best, biggest venue in the center of the city. We will come with a loud bang and full whatever performance and heart and noise. And we will preach the gospel. We would pray for the sick and in every crusade, we would pray for the Baptist, with the Holy spirit. And we still do that to this day. The only difference is we’re not speaking to five or 6,000 people anymore. We speaking to hundreds of thousands in every week meeting, and often over the period of three, four, five days, millions of people come to hear the gospel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:20):
The Holy spirit has played such a central role in the ministry of Christ for all nations. When I was just starting out as an evangelist, I had the opportunity to come to the Abuja Nigeria crusade, which was a magnificent crusade. It was so beautiful. And I remember the fire conference each day. It was three days long and you spoke each day and then brother bunkie spoke each day. And I remember the last day they prayed the people to be filled with the Holy spirit. And they began to speak in tongues. This was just the fire coverage, but there were more than 50,000 people just in that, in that meeting,
Peter Vandenberg (17:58):
They were registered delegates too. And because we didn’t, you know, the crusade was getting a hundreds of thousands. We didn’t want it to be flooded. We even had them pay. I mean, it was only like a dollar and they paid something so that we weren’t over flooded and you’re right. I forget the exact figure I have it recorded, but I think we had like 50,000 in a meeting.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:15):
And I remember that when brother bunkie prayed for everyone to be filled with the Holy spirit, everyone began to speak in tongues and it sounded like a mighty rushing wind. It was just so loud. And so overpowering in the Africans are so enthusiastic about the Holy spirit. I really think this is one of the great defining characteristics of C fan is bringing the power of the Holy spirit. Well, what are some of the other things that bunkie did that made him a great evangelist?
Peter Vandenberg (18:45):
Yes, you’re, you’re absolutely right. Just to go back to the Holy spirit in the earliest of days, when, when, when we set the pattern for our event, Reinhard always said then, and he said it right throughout his life. And we still said today, he said, the, the only thing that will break the back of the devil in Africa is a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And we believe in that because you know, the Holy spirit is not just for speaking in tongues and getting goosebumps. The Holy Spirit is a healing spirit. He’s a delivering spirit that we are saved and regenerated in salvation by the Holy spirit. So the work of the Holy Spirit is absolutely vital. And now to, to answer your other question, what made the ministry grow around it? Well, you know, the, the, the overriding factor was, and still is to the state in crossroad nations, under Daniel Kolenda is to see people saved.
Peter Vandenberg (19:36):
We want to see people saved, but you know, there’s more to that than just getting up and saying, you need Jesus, you know, and then see, and there’s much more this to, to be effective in that you need to have systems, you need to have structure. You need to have integrity. You need to have money and you need to have opportunity. You know, so all those things came together and one has to protect all of them. You have to protect your integrity. You have to protect your, the way you handle finances. You’ve got to be honorable in your commitment, you know, not book things, and then don’t come or, or, or chop and change. You got to build integrity and the ministry built integrity. And, and then for us, the key effective feature is what Reinhard had said it, we still said evangelism that does not lead into the local church is nonsense.
Peter Vandenberg (20:24):
It’s got to lead into the local church. Jesus said, go and make disciples not converts. We, we get converts in our crusades, but he didn’t say that he said, make disciples. So we, every evangelists we believe has an a, has a real responsibility to get people saved. And to then to build a bridge from the crusade field or the crusade meeting, wherever it is into the local church. And that’s what we, from the very earliest of days to this day, these big events we have between 40 and 50% of our budget is follow-up not what you see in the event. It’s follow up because we want fruit that remains. And as the ministry grew, all those things that I mentioned came into place, integrity, power of God, moving. The key factor was churches who participated, got converts. And that rumor began to spread. People said, you know, if you work with a crossword nations crusade, you’re going to get converts.
Peter Vandenberg (21:18):
And initially we were just working with a Pentecostals then even not all of them, you know, cause he knows way back in the early days of the seventies, not all the Pentecostals liked our praying for the Holy spirit in public. And, and they didn’t say we’d never mind. But so those that worked with us started growing like crazy and the room then more and more came on and said, yeah, we want to work with you. And then eventually even the non Pentecostal denominations, you know, the guys who, who were posing us, they, they came on and they said, could we work with you? In fact, in a couple of places, big delegations of huge denominations came in and said, we will cooperate with you. But if you agree not to pray for the healing of people in public and and pray for the Baptist and Holy spirit.
Peter Vandenberg (22:01):
And, and w I was with Ronald many times and he said, well, you know, we hear you, but you know, we don’t do that just because we think it’s a good idea or it’s because that’s our style. We do that on command of the word of God. And we cannot to please you or anybody else on, on fear of God. We cannot not do that. We have to do that. And I said, Oh, well, then we won’t cooperate. You don’t do it all. God bless you. We wished you were. And, and then what happened is there, people came, you know, the people can brought their unsaved friends. And although they had said, we are not cooperating, we heard later from how many times over and over again, they had hundreds of new converts coming to the church and they opposed us. And we was just happy.
Peter Vandenberg (22:41):
We said, well, let’s hope that they, they grow in that, in that church. And that changed everything until the wider spectrum of denominations were involved. And if they were Orthodox and they were not a cult or something crazy, we would welcome them in. And this caused that huge growth. And it’s all because of souls that are saved, fruit remains, and people added to the church. Do you have an up-to-date number for how many people have been saved with Christ for all nations? I do. We have been counting the, the, the return decision cards. And let me explain what that is. We have this followup booklet, which we’ve used I don’t know for how long, maybe 30 years. And in the back of this booklet is a self making a decision card. Every person who makes a decision receives that from a counselor, counselor fills it out.
Peter Vandenberg (23:28):
The card comes out. They keep the book with one of copying and the card goes into the follow-up system. And then those go to the churches and the participating churches where we’ve trained the counselors and many hundreds, sometimes thousands of churches, they do the follow-up. And so we count those cards of people who were ushered into the follow-up system. So so that’s how we’ve been counting since 1987. I’ve done that. And the figure as we sit here right now is 79,957,136 people have said they’ve given their lives to Jesus Christ. In other words, we are, if you can do the math, we are about 19,000 short of 80 million. And as we sit here in Tanzania, in karma with five crusades going, I have no doubt that by the end of next week, we will have exceeded that 18 or 19,000. And it’ll be 80 million people into
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:23):
Kingdom of God. I know just here in Coahoma, on Thursday night, we had 3024 decision cards that were filled out and returned. And so God is, will surely do it here in this, in this country. Amen.
Peter Vandenberg (24:37):
Wonderful. And that’s, that’s one of four meetings and that’s one of five crusades. So we, we praise God, we praise God for that. And you know, something else has happened because, you know, people say, well, are you saying all those people are born again? So well, no, we’re not because we don’t know you know, the, but what we do know, it says that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The word of God says, so if they calling on the name of the Lord, we do something right. That’s all we can do. So, no, we don’t know if all those people are, are saved, but we have done what we are commissioned to do. We preach the gospel, we’ve bridged them into the local church and are being discipled by the pastors, but not, this is an interesting thing.
Peter Vandenberg (25:17):
That is the number we, we, we follow that carefully with integrity. And I think that’s important. That’s also influenced a lot of other ministries who just had people put their hands up and said, Oh, well, you know, thousands of got saved and we’ve come along later and said, Oh, so-and-so was here. There’s the S said, great. And we always say, how many converts did you get? And then the positive say, well, nobody, maybe one or two, but we know what, you know, this is not right. So we, by God’s grace, we’ve been able to change it. But now all this is interesting. This number I just quoted for over the years with our crusade directors, we wanted to know get an idea rather of how many people remained in the churches. So in, in many cities, you remember we’re doing the six, seven and eight of these crusades every year.
Peter Vandenberg (26:01):
So we couldn’t do it to everyone. But in some of the bigger, most sophisticated cities, we would send out a crusade direct back to the biggest churches or the, let me say the most sophisticated churches with follow-up form. And it was many things, but basically it said, how many people did you baptize after the CFN crusade? How many were still there after three months? How many were there after six months? How many after nine months and how many after a year? And they fill this out, you know, went back and I got all these documents in and do the statistics, you know, and I was looking at them. And of course, every place you baptized hundreds and mostly thousands of people and started branch churches, sometimes four or five branch churches. Now they are great. I’d expect that. Then I would you to see this, the number of how many of those people was still there at three months, diminution lists at six months, you’d expect that, but I saw something else different.
Peter Vandenberg (26:52):
In most of those churches, there was an increase of, of people coming into the church at the three-month period. And then it began to tail off. I was like, wow. And I looked at one and another, and most of them had this increase of people at three months, saw that, wow, maybe they got so fired up at the fire conference, which is my ministry that they went out and did evangelism. I was like, Oh, that must be great. So we asked our directors go and ask them, you know, this would be awesome. They went back to the pastors and said, okay, we see that you had an increase of people. Did you go and do outreach? And they said, the pastor said, no, we couldn’t. We were so busy with a followup. We had thousands to follow. We were busy with a follow-up. We couldn’t go and do outreach.
Peter Vandenberg (27:30):
So they said, well, how come more people came into the church? Oh, they said, we know we can tell you exactly. We can tell you said what happened is at the people that got saved at the crusade, got the followup booklet. They, now that you say booklet, and we tell them in the crusade, if take your booklet on the Sunday or Nixon and go to a participating church. And when the pastor sees your booklet, he’s going to give you a special, welcome, a special seat, VIP treatment. He’s going to welcome into the church. And that’s, we did that to encourage people, which they did and the positive. Now, these people that came in at the three month period, it’s the families of the people who got saved. And they said, we know because they come and they say, you know, we are the family of so-and-so. He got saved in the crusade. We want to join your church too. But we can’t. He said, well, why can’t you join our church? Because we haven’t got the book. And they said, no, you don’t need the book. You can come and join the church. And it’s so many times has that happened, that we call it the second wave. Of course we don’t count it. We cannot count it. But we do this day, we still see the second wave only God knows, but we rejoice.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:35):
One of the things I really like about you is your, your spirit of adventure. And you’ve actually written a book called into the unknown where you talk about some of your great adventures you’ve had not only with crusades, but also you are an adventure. Tell me a little bit about some of the adventures that you’ve had. Yes.
Peter Vandenberg (28:54):
Th th th this, this book, as you say, into the unknown recklessly, following the call of God and that’s about it. You know, when I was writing the book, they pressured me wrong time to write a book. I said, we don’t need another book. You know? And then I said, anyway, it’s ridiculous. Reinhard, Bonnke his books. And Daniel Kolenda, his books are so wonderful and spiritual. If I write a book, it’s going to read like an Indiana Jones book, you know, nobody’s interested. Well, they pushed me and I wrote it and it’s been very well received. And it is spiritual too, of course. But when I, I said, I’m going to write this book into the unknown recklessly, following the call of God. Some of our advisors said, okay, that’s great. That’s good. You know, the word recklessly is not a very good word. It’s it speaks of lack of assurance and lack of control and, and a little bit of the war.
Peter Vandenberg (29:39):
Wouldn’t it be better to say I’m faithfully following the color guard. So I thought I’ll go think about that. And I was driving home from that meeting. I look into the unknown faithfully following the fearlessly, sorry, fearlessly. I said, wouldn’t it be better to say fearlessly following the call, God. I said, that sounds great into the unknown fearlessly, following the Holy God. And while I was driving and said, but you know what? It’s not true. I wasn’t fearless half the time. I was scared. How am I, you know, I mean, what are you doing? You know what? I was like, nah, I can’t say fearlessly. And it just wouldn’t be incorrect. I’m going to stick with recklessly, you know? And in essence, as it turns out, there is a recklessness to follow the of God. Now, you know, I’ve been accused because of the things I enjoy doing or being an adrenaline junkie, you know, I I’m a hang glider pilots.
Peter Vandenberg (30:27):
I have been. In fact, this is my 42nd year as an active angler pilot. There are, I’m much older than most hang glider pilots. I’m still active. I’ve done it for a long time. I had advanced a rescue scuba diver. I love mountain biking. I kayak on the river every day. And so I love adrenaline related things. So, you know, the book is like it, I, I D I joke, but it reads a bit like a Christian version of Indiana Jones, you know, but I tell you what the, the overriding and guiding factor is the work of the Holy spirit in my own life. And yes, many, many interesting things happen. I mean, the book starts with the story of the flying, our little CIF and play in a little single engine, four seat, a Bush plane with big fat Tundra tires flying from the Southern tip of Africa all over the place.
Peter Vandenberg (31:15):
And, and carrying a cow took Rinat around quite a bit, not that much, mostly flying parts with attracts and equipment for crusades that was urgently needed. And I’d fly these around. And I was on a trip once with one of our German colleagues, Verna drop lift. We met up to Zambia from from Zimbabwe and it turned out we had a meeting there. It was in preparation for crusade and on the way back in Sydney, the international flight. So you file a flight plan and you have to stick to your flight plan, talking on the radio all the way, and then you land and do customs or whatever. And I was going to fly back from an Dola. That’s a city in Zambia to Harare. That’s the capital city of Zimbabwe and crossing a border. And that’s fine. Yeah, well, but you know, Africa in those days there was no weather reporting.
Peter Vandenberg (31:59):
The, the navigational AIDS on the ground didn’t work. So you just had your watch and your compass basically, and you, and, you know, as a pilot, you need to know the, the wind direction. Because if the wind’s blowing from the side, it’s going to a new fly heading, your plane will blow off to the left and you’ll get lost. So, but there was no way the reporting. So I knew how to handle this. I’d been flying Bush flying for years. So we took off and I checked, Oh yeah, there’s a, there’s a fairly strong wind coming from this Alameda correction. And off we went, you know, it was going to be about a two and a half hour trip. You settle down with the flight. We went up high and there was the weather began to close in below. So I couldn’t really see the ground very well, but that’s fine.
Peter Vandenberg (32:35):
I was following the heading. And I looked at my time, I was going to cross in a remote part of the country, crosses MBZ river, which is the border enters. And Bob and I was, had the radio frequencies that are called up. Couldn’t get anybody. And we we’d gone through a lot of turbulence at other. What about, that’s about, you know, well, as it turned out unknown to me, cause there was no weather forecast, there was a front end, a weather front coming through it. And the way the direction changed 180 degrees, it stopped blowing the way I’d correct before and sort of blowing the other way. So I was going way off course unknown to me the clouds, but I couldn’t see it. So when I couldn’t get anybody, I clicked and, and I said to the guy that we need to get down so I could see where I am acid.
Peter Vandenberg (33:15):
What happened. There was a hole in the clouds, maybe 10 miles away. And I headed for it also in the wrong direction or we circled down through. Now. I knew that part of the world very, very well. I’d flown there many, many thousands of hours. And I went down through the cloud and came out quite low with forests and mountains, remote place that I had never seen before. And I was like, what in the world? Where am I? Well, it turns out because of the wind change instead of flying from Zambia to the country of Zimbabwe, I drifted right over Mozambique, another country in which a massive war was going on between the guys. They eventually ruled the country and an opposition group. And it was in total war. Nobody went anyone yet. And I, I didn’t know I was there. So I flew along and it’s just Bush, Bush, Bush. And I didn’t, I saw how much fuel I had on board. I had about another hour and a half where the flight, I didn’t know where I was. So I said to him, you know what, we need to find an extra element of land and ask where we are. We just flew on and on and on. And then Sunday
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (34:17):
Over its jungle covered
Peter Vandenberg (34:19):
Area, I saw a grass landing strip I’d look down at wow. So I said, okay, I’ve got it. And I noted the position. And I said, if, if in 10 minutes, I’m going to where I’m, I’m kind of come back and land. I didn’t know what I was, came back to land. And in Africa on a Bush trip like that, there’s always cattle grazing. And so you buzzed them on the plane and they move off, you know? And then you land. So I saw the cattle, I buzzed them. They didn’t move. I buzzed them again. They didn’t move. I thought, well, if the catalogs are so stupid, at least a young picking in a young boy will come out and herd them way. Our bus, they didn’t nobody move. There was no sign of life. So I said to the guy with me, Vernon, I said, look, this is a short landing aircraft at a Bush plane, this room between the beginning of the runway and the first cow, I’m going to land hang onto your seatbelt.
Peter Vandenberg (35:06):
So I landed and just stopped in front of the cow, the big propeller running. And it looked up and it just put its head down and graze. These cattle have never even seen the airplane. So I turned around and went to back to the beginning of the runway and parked up. And then we saw little children come running, little black children, hundreds of them. And Verna bless him. He worked in our children’s ministry. We hopped out of the plane and I said, I need to ask somebody where we are. The kids were under. And he had balloons at his pocket and he’s pulling out the balloons, blowing them up at tying them, give them to the kids. And they babbling babbling. And then I heard he handed the balloon to the one kid. And I heard the kids say to him, Mito obrigado, which is, thank you very much
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (35:45):
Portuguese. So you knew you were in Mozambique. We are in Moses
Peter Vandenberg (35:50):
Beak and there’s a war going on here. And I said to Verna, get in the plane. We get, let’s go, let’s go. And as we turn, I looked up and here came the men, the cadres out of the Bush, maybe 40 of them, mostly in tatted, civilian clothes, but all with bandoliers of ammunition around their necks and weapons. One guy had fatigues on and they were walking towards, Oh, Oh, now what? So I said to Verna, how do you say, what is a greeting in Portuguese? He said, I think he said, bond deals. Amigo Rockies are weighted beta. They kept closer and closer. And then I just walked forward, boldly straight up to the guy in the camera kit. You know, he looked like the most. I put out my hand and I said, bond, dear Amiga, Hey, shook my hand and babbled in Portuguese.
Peter Vandenberg (36:34):
I said, no, Portuguese English in. And they kind of greeted us. And then I said to the guy there, this chopper said Zimbabwe and I pointed over there and he said, yeah, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. He went, Ooh. So I said, Oh yeah. I said about getting the plane. So he’s going back to get in the plane. And I turned to go, we’re out of here. And as I turn, I hear a big argument breakout amongst these guys. And the one guy saying to the commander, Oh, well only in Portuguese, Zimbabwe and another one’s Zimbabwe said, Oh Lord, these guys don’t even know where they are. You know? Oh, that’s not much good. And then we would try to get in the plane and I saw a tractor coming. And then it was the commander of the Garrison on a tractor. The reason was everything else was blown to smithereens, you know, no other vehicle.
Peter Vandenberg (37:23):
And then the cadre is what he said, Whoa, stop, stop, stop. So he came to the commander and they asked these guys Austra passports that took them. And we went to the commander long story short, we had landed in a military Garrison. And the, the, there were, there was no runway for hundreds of miles. Cause for Lima had no aircraft. And the story that they had to back in Zimbabwe when they knew we were missing and they are, I talked to another aircraft here. We got, it looks like we were going to land. And he figured already by the wind that we were in Mozambique, they all, any landing strip that it was, was mine. You know, it was with landmines and anti-personnel mines. So that’s it. So now we landed, but the story is this, listen to, this is this isn’t the hand of God.
Peter Vandenberg (38:05):
It turns out this commander of that trilemma, Garrison had tried for the air force. He trained in Portugal for the air force and failed. And he built a runway at the Garrison, hoping above hope that a plane one day would land there wouldn’t they had no plans. The enemy had the planes and he built and maintained the runway. That’s why the cattle had never seen a plane, you know, they didn’t know. And so when we came there, they interrogated us, the communist Cod Ray wanted to know everything, but we were clean. I mean, we said we missionaries, you know, we can preach the gospel. And then eventually they kept saying to me, when is the latest you can fly? When I look at at four 30, cause I can only fly in, in the daylight. I can’t fly at night. And they said 40. Okay.
Peter Vandenberg (38:49):
And they talk, talk, talk. And then it came four 30. They’d found a translator by now. And there, we were sitting there and the, and the commander said, so they tell us that that you’re okay. That, that, that you can go. He said, but I think it’s too late. I looked at was already five o’clock. He knew. So then it’s too late. So it doesn’t matter. You could stay the night with us. We will look after you. The building we’re in was shocked to pieces. Every window was broken. The plastic inside has had bullet holes in it. And th the guide said to me, every night, we are attacked by the Bandidos as I call them, they’re all my Lord. So we said, okay, we stay. And Bernie and I slipped on a bed, spring beds with no mattress and the windows were smashed.
Peter Vandenberg (39:27):
And like I said, we prayed, man. I said, I thought the plane would be blown up. You know? Cause the God said your plane will get blown up because I mean, the gods could see it then the opposition on the mountains. But it turned out that this commodity, he was so impressed that a piloted, right. He treated me like, God, you know, it was ridiculous. They said, do we go to have supper? Thank you. Thank you. He said, what, what are we going to eat? I said, well, whatever you got, I said, no, the commodity of the pilot must decide. I don’t know what they’ve got. They were poverty stricken. So I said to the guy, what do they got? Is it fish, fish good? Okay. The pilot says, you just have fish. What do you want to have a drink? So whatever you’ve got, no, that pilot must say, wow, what did he said?
Peter Vandenberg (40:09):
We have T so we’re T the pilot system. I mean, it was crazy. They treated us like Kings. And we, we were not attacked at night and I never heard any explosions. So I wonder it turns out he’d taken half the Garrison and put them around our little airplane, you know? And the, the enemy missiles, what is this? You know, they, they must have some big guy there. So they, they held back. And in the morning we got up and knew where we were. And there was a whole lot of rigmarole. And we, you know, we thought, how can we help these guys? We just emptied our pockets of everything. We had Swiss army knife, toothbrushes, whatever we had, you know, Lastic bands, all of Verna’s balloons for the kids. And we just gave them everything. And then, because I realized these guys didn’t know where they were.
Peter Vandenberg (40:48):
I commando in the, in the fatigues. Who’d been very helpful. I’m going to give him an, a present. So in company them all, he hadn’t received anything. Others had got the knife and the pens or whatever we had. I said, I have a special gift for the commander and took out one of my flight shots. I said, I don’t know if this is breaking the Geneva convention or what, you know, but I’m going to give them one of my shots. I only needed one. I knew where I was now. It was only like an hour’s flight from Harare. And I gave him the chart and whatever, you know, they escorted us back down to the plane. And we were going to go now. And the, the commodity, he said to me, he said, you’re the pilot. And he, he didn’t speak English. He put any, he looked, he said, Bandido Bandido.
Peter Vandenberg (41:28):
We were in a Valley with mountains. So he said he made his hands like a play. And he said, Ooh, Ooh, sorry. I got the message. And I said a burner when we end the Politico, hang on, we’re going to do an [inaudible] because I figured the guys who are on the Hill, it’s going to have a pot shot at us. You know, why not? You know, I would. So we took off in this little Bush plan of ours, which was a powerful Bush. It was [inaudible]. And I literally climbed this baby. I met her work and up, we went and away. We went. And when we were airborne, I told the plane, the aircraft that I talked to the previous day, that I would stay on this frequency. I click you win as a pilot. You always just double click your market because click, click, and your ears, check your radius, like tick, tick.
Peter Vandenberg (42:08):
And as soon as I clicked click, a voice came on and said, is that? And I gave my registration, Zulu, Sierra, Juliet, India, Papa. I said the affirmative that’s where are you? I said, I, by then I knew, I said, we’re over Kabora ambassador dam. And at 8,000 feet. And then I heard him talk to Harari. He said, it was the air force, Zimbabwe Neff. Was it some kind of jet, you know? And they said, go and check. So the guy came and then he said I’m overhead. Yes. So there, so then the guy talked to me, he said, have you got fuel to get an artist said, yes. He said, well, you’re too slow for me to escort. You go to a robbery, but go to the main airport, not the little you go and check and they waiting for you. There. We landed there.
Peter Vandenberg (42:41):
I thought, Oh, I’m in trouble now. You know, international flight, they, when we landed, they said, what happened? I said, well, I got lost. I actually had a vacuum failure. My I collapsed. And then they said, Oh, okay, where you maltreated? I said, we were at finger finger Garrison. I said, yeah. I said, we might said, no, they treated us like royalty. They like Kings. Well, we knew that you’d landed somewhere. Therefore your planes wheel was blown off or worse. You stepped out and had your foot blown off said, no, no, it’s not mine. And I told the story. They said, okay, it’s fine. Just fill out a paper because the air force wasted 20,000 gallons of kerosene and that’s all. And, and off we went and I said, thank the Lord. We wanted to go back and give Bibles to those guys. But the, the the Zimbabweans wouldn’t allow us to fly.
Peter Vandenberg (43:28):
And I said, why not? We’ve just come from there. They said, Sam missiles, haven’t you ever heard of Sam? Ms. Allison, they have Sam missiles. It. Yeah. And they were pointing at you for sure. I said, well, the Lord was with us. What a great story, brother, Peter, thank you so much for joining me. Thank you for your dedication to Jesus and to sharing the gospel around Africa in the world. You are a great blessing. Thank you. And thank you so much for being here and preaching in this crusade and helping us get people saved, healed, delivered baptized in the Holy spirit. You know, we, we just love what we do. We just love what we do. And thank you very much. We appreciate and love you too. Thank you
Evangelism Podcast Host (44:09):
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