Black History Month: “They need to hear our story.”
As African Americans, often in this country, we don’t always see how valuable we are in sharing the gospel, our value in the world, and how the world sees us.
The world knows a little bit about our struggles. I believe as a people, we are here.
Our forefathers have paid a price for us, they suffered, they were sold into slavery, they were beaten on the boats to get here. Mistreated. They split our families up, couldn’t go to school. They paid a price.
And the reason they paid was a door for us. And that door is for others to hear our story. We need to take it to the world. There are others who are suffering, others are going through struggles.
They need to hear our story, they need to hear how we made it through.
Listen to the early spirituals that talk about the Jordan River, talking about getting across the Red Sea. Nobody knows the Jesus that I know.
After the Civil War, African Americans went to the mission field. The country of Liberia was founded by freed slaves. Some of our historically black schools, like Spelman College, one of its reasons, it’s development, it’s founding, was to send African Americans – missionaries – to Africa. If you could see the old pictures, you’d see the nurseries, these Spelman people ministering in Africa.
People want to know more about us, they want to hear our story and it gives them hope.
They know somehow or another we went to this country, and they see us as prosperous, whether it’s good or bad, whether it’s entertainment, seeing the movies, or music. We have some significance.
I remember being in Venezuela, out in one of the neighborhoods, and one of the guys said, “now, is Tupac dead or alive?” That was the beginning of a conversation. They love our music, we have talents that we can take, they want to listen to us.
People came to us, and asked all the questions.
The doors are wide, wide open.
People listen to us. And when we go overseas, at least when I did, people wanted to ask questions.
We were up in the mountains, and this African, from a distance, recognized that perhaps my voice was different, or I had more weight than the average Kenyan, and he yelled from a distance, and he said, “you! You negro from America!” And then he came running to us, and he hugged me.
And he asked a question, he said, “Are there any negro Christians in America?” And I said, “Sure. Plenty.” And he said, “Why don’t we see them?”
Then I thought, the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
And then it became important that part of our movement literally sends African Americans to Africa, and I promise I will do the best I can to see that happen.
It’s the gospel, and we need to take it to the world.
We need to take it, and they want to hear. They want to hear the rest of the story.
And they’re willing to listen, and we can go and all those to do go see God use them in a great, great way.