Hope is alive and well
Saturday my wife and I went to “the Send,” a major stadium Christian event in Orlando FL. Over 90,000 people registered for this event of prayer, worship, and preaching the Gospel and 59,000 showed up with thousands more viewing livestreaming. Their overriding message was the same as the Jesus Alliance, If Christians want to pray for awakening and revival, then they need to actually go out into the world and get to work.
If you missed it, you should have been there. I went with my good buddy Mat Staver and his wife Anita. Mat and I stood out like sore thumbs as our heads seemed to be the only gray ones at the event. It was gloriously filled with young people and truly invigorating to see so many of them loving and worshipping the Lord.
I came away thinking all hope is not lost, and all young people are not socialist anarchists. God is alive and well in young America regardless of what the dark web propagandizes. I was privileged to sit in the VIP section which was adjacent to an air-conditioned box where we could escape the sweltering heat. The event continued without ceasing for nearly 12 hours straight as the sun beat down mercilessly and several people actually passed out, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. I would leave the air-conditioned box and roam outside, because in spite of closed-circuit televisions being everywhere in our lounge area, I could feel the Holy Spirit moment more intensely outside.
Those kids were jumping up and down to the time of the music and preaching and I could feel the stadium moving up and down and actually wondered if it could withstand thousands of people jumping continuously for hours at a time without something collapsing. The Holy Spirit was roaming throughout the stadium. Groups were spontaneously praying, it was quite the event.
The speaker list included Andy Byrd, Francis Chan, Daniel Kolenda, Bill Johnson, Hillsong Young & Free, Lou Engle, Todd White, Jeremy Riddle, Jesus Culture, Mike Bickle, Lindy & the Circuit Riders, and a multitude of others At one point during his message, Francis Chan wryly remarked how unfair it was that The Send attendees got “20 speakers and 15 bands” while there are people around the world who have never heard the gospel.
Fixing that disparity was the main goal of The Send, to hear its speakers explain it. Evangelist Kolenda said he’s used to seeing crowds this size in countries like Africa or Asia, quipping that in Africa, “We do our counselor training in a stadium this size.” But he said he regularly fields questions about when a similar evangelistic outpouring would happen in North America. Kolenda said he believes wholeheartedly a new era of evangelism started Saturday in Orlando. He hoped The Send would be responsible for 5,000 people registering for missions training: “the greatest number of people who have ever signed up to go to the nations of the earth with the gospel.”
I spoke with some of the organizers and more stadium events are being planned and intense follow-up of this event has already begun. I hope you will join me in praying that a great revival will be spawned.
Will You not Yourself revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?