'Jesus' of the poor

aus: Share International, July/August 1992

Wiedergabe mit freundlicher Genehmigung von © Share International

"Those who search for signs will find them..." (Maitreya, Message No.10, 8 November 1977)

Wearing a long white tunic and army boots and surrounded by believers, Marcos Antonio Bonilla speaks: "My name is Jesus, the same who was here 2,000 years ago. The same spirit exactly."

The sick and the poor are flocking from miles around to Bonilla's small shack in Managua, Nicaragua. According to reporter John Otis of the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonilla has "a broad grasp of the Bible's teachings, a serene voice and a slight resemblance to the popular image of Christ". As he wanders through Managua's slums, he brings a message of peace and talks about God, healing people along the way. The local press has dubbed him "Jesus of the poor" and CNN has come for an interview.

His presence has provoked tremendous response, both positive and negative. While the people flock to see him, others call him the "Anti-Christ" and Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo of the Catholic Church refuses to meet with him. Nicaragua's main pro-Sandinista newspapers have given major coverage to Bonilla, and contrast his work with the poor with Obando's preoccupation with building a $5 million cathedral across the street from a Managua slum. But a conservative newspaper says Bonilla's appearance is part of an "historic campaign" by the Sandinistas to divide the church.

Although people who knew the 33-year-old former teacher and handyman before his conversion say he used to be something of a womanizer, those who have been healed by him are convinced of his authenticity.

"Mercedes del Carmen Benavides, who used to sell rice and beans in Managua's Eastern market, is one of the faithful," according to the Chronicle article. "She complained of body aches and a nervous condition to Bonilla, who instructed her to close her eyes and relax. Benavides claims she felt a strong vibration race through her body and that her pains suddenly vanished. That day, she closed her market stall to become an
apostle of 'Jesus' ".

When asked about his healing powers, Bonilla says that God works through him to relieve the poor of their burdens. "These people don't have anyone to help them. They have been forgotten by the whole world."

(Note: According to Benjamin Creme's information, Marcos Bonilla is not Jesus, but is able to respond to the healing powers of the Master Jesus who Himself has appeared in Nicaragua. See June issue of Share International.)

(Source: San Francisco Chronicle; Miami Herald, USA)

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