This December, I turn 68 years old, but my eyes still fill with tears as I think about my mother’s vow to God and the dream that followed.
Her words remain deep in my heart, for they set the course for my life, and I cherish them to this day!
After the Hinn family moved to Canada and I became a Christian, on December 7, 1974, I first preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
That day was especially impactful because the first miracle in my ministry occurred. During the time leading up to that wintry day, there was a growing burden inside me to share what the Lord Jesus had been putting on my heart, but I kept telling the Lord, “You know I can’t talk.”
I worried about my lifelong stuttering problem and the fact that I surely would embarrass myself if I ever stood before a group and actually tried to preach, but the burden to proclaim the Gospel grew and grew.
On December 7, as I was sitting in the home of Stan and Shirley Phillips in Oshawa, about 30 miles east of my home in Toronto. I felt led to share for the first time what God had been showing me through experiences, dreams, and visions. For nearly three hours I poured my heart out, including details only the Lord and I knew. I told them of my increasingly heavy burden for lost souls. Before I had even finished, Stanley stopped me and said, “Benny, tonight you must come to our church and share your heart.”
They had a fellowship called Shilo—about 100 people that met at the Trinity Assembly of God in Oshawa. I wasn’t prepared for Stan’s request. I wish you could have seen me. Besides my shoulder-length hair, I hadn’t dressed to go to church, much less speak in front of people. Yet that night Stan introduced me to the group, and for the first time in my life, I stood behind a pulpit to preach.
The instant I opened my mouth, I felt something loosen my tongue. After a few seconds of numbness, I began to proclaim God’s Word fluently with absolutely no stuttering!
The stammering was gone, all of it. And it never returned!
After my message, I invited people to come forward for prayer. About 10 responded. No one knew much about being slain in the Spirit there, but as I prayed for those people, they began falling under God’s anointing. Then I looked up and almost everyone in the building was coming to the front for prayer. More and more were slain in the Spirit as the Holy Spirit moved so mightily in that place.
That was 46 years ago this month! It was a miracle, and I knew it more than anyone.