The beauty, strength, grit and determination of the African-American community qualifies it to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who share its skin color in the United States, as well as to nations, cultures and ethnic groups that look different.
That was one of many messages during a day-long missions event in Orlando, Florida that attracted tens of thousands over the weekend.
Three African-American missionaries—one to Africa and two to American cities and other nations—lent their voices of support to a missions rally that packed 65,000-seat Camping World Stadium, and drew hundreds of thousands more who watched it live-stream on Saturday.
The confluence of Black History Month in February and the massive evangelistic assembly was highlighted by organizers of The Send and three African-American missionaries who addressed the international audience.
Watch their powerful testimonies and join them in intercession for African-Americans who are called to missions here at the 1:20:07 mark: bethel.tv/thesend.
"We're going to stand together as a family—as the body of Christ—with our brothers and sisters so that every roadblock would be removed to the evangelistic/missional calling that is on the African-American community," said Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Leader Andy Byrd.
"The Lord said The Send was meant to be a catalytic spark to the African-American evangelistic movement that would sweep the nations of the earth," Byrd said
He noted that it was an emancipated American slave, George Liele (also spelled Lisle and Leile), who first carried the gospel as a missionary to the Caribbean, where he preached Jesus and planted churches.
Remembering the tears, trials and sweat of five generations before him, African-American J.T. (Jonathan Tremaine) told the crowd it was the great emancipator, Jesus, who qualified him "to stand before you as a missionary today."
Since 2003, when Tremaine committed himself to full-time ministry in some of America's most violent neighborhoods, he's felt the cold steel of a gun pressed to his temple in one Tennessee community.
Pain and danger marked another African-American man's life before he accepted his call to full-time missions.
David (his last name is withheld for security within the nation he serves) grew up in a Detroit, Michigan ghetto, where his father was a drug dealer and his mother a stripper.
"I was sex-trafficked from 6 to 9 years of age," David said. "When I first turned 17, I was introduced to homosexuality, and my life was distant from God. I hated God."
In 2011, homeless and seeking direction for his life, David went to another event, The Call, looking for shelter and a place to sleep. Instead, he heard about Jesus and, a year later, gave his heart to the Lord.
"I want to say that today my parents and all nine of my sisters are born again. If God can do it for my family, He can do it for yours."
David has served in nations closed to the gospel, but he's had success in sharing Jesus with people who share his skin pigment. "I said, 'Lord, if you can use me with the people I look like, I lay down my preference.'
"I want to tell you black boy, black girl, that there's a portion and a part for you. If God can use me, He can use you," David said.
Byrd embraced David and the other two missionaries after giving their testimonies, and joined them in interceding for African-Americans brothers who will respond to God's call to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.
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