Benny brings healing touch to stadium
2005: Over 34,000 people packed into the stands and onto the pitch at Carrow Road to hear American TV evangelist Benny Hinn during his two-day "miracle crusade" to Norwich in July. Keith Morris reports.
People came from as far as Holland, Norway, Egypt and all over the UK to Norwich on July 22 and 23 to see Benny Hinn’s only UK visit this year. The event was filmed for TV and broadcast to a worldwide audience in 180 countries.
Wheelchairs and walking sticks were cast aside as people testified on stage to miraculous healings of brain tumours, deafness, blindness, arthritis and Parkinson's Disease. Hundreds of others lined up to declare that they had also been healed.
Mary McLennan, Benny Hinn's ministry team leader, said: "We had one gentleman who had a brain tumour for 14 years. He could not walk on his own and we believed God with him and he accepted that by faith and he got up out of his wheelchair and walked all the way to the platform. His wife just stood and cried and cried because she just could not believe it.
"We had another lady who had arthritic problem in her legs and could not walk and was jittery. We believed God with her and she stood up and her legs began to become mobile and she said: 'I am deaf in my left ear and have been for several years and the bone had been removed'. And we believed with her and checked her and her hearing came back completely in that ear, which was pretty marvellous.
"The amazing thing is to watch the people who come with them. They stand in amazement when these things happen.
"The reason we take people with miracles to the platform is to build faith in those who are waiting for God to touch them. Because if they seen something visual and say 'he was healed' then I am going to believe it too and very often they then get their miracle by seeing other people who have got it," said Mary.
"As Pastor Benny says, we don't know why people are sometimes not healed. We just believe that God is going to do it and if they accept by faith it very often happens. Most of our miracles don't happen instantly on the platform, most are progressive.
"I had a lady come up to me last night who said: ‘you prayed with me at the Birmingham crusade, at least two years ago. I had liver cancer and I felt a change that night. I went back to my doctor and he cleared me and said I have a normal liver.”
“We always tell people 'don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen tonight'. We have some people who come to one, two, three or four meetings and at the fifth crusade God heals them."
Preaching to the packed stadium, Benny Hinn said: "Last night the power of God flowed like a river of fire. It is your right to be healed and delivered. You must confess your sins before you can be healed. Jesus does not heal people today, he healed them 2000 years ago and you are just receiving it tonight."
Event director Kurt Kjellstrom, from Benny Hinn Ministries' Texas headquarters, led a 40-strong team of TV, prayer, miracle follow up, event and PR staff from the USA to organise the event, which was hosted by a team from Mount Zion in Norwich led by John Lind.
"The Norwich event cost between $350,000-$400,000 to stage," said Kurt, "and it was supported by 80 different churches from a 125-mile radius from the city. We enlisted an 800-strong choir and 300 volunteers.
"We chose Norwich because the pastors from different denominations and races were excited, rallied together and prayed for Pastor Benny to come. They invited us and we accepted. To see people being hungry and touched by God is a great thing."
Kurt, who has been event director for Benny Hinn for over ten years explained how his team had recently organised huge events for 7.3 million people in India over three nights and over 5 million people in the Philippines.
Benny has preached the Gospel face to face and through television to more than one billion people in over 200 nations during his 30-year ministry. He is also a best-selling author and his daily This Is Your Day" TV broadcast goes across the world, including the UK.
Stalls selling Benny Hinn books, videos, CDs, TV subscriptions and even Benny Hinn T-shirts could be found under the Carrow Road stands.
Pictured above, Benny Hinn addressing huge crowds at Carrow Road football stadium.