How you can help bring racial reconciliation into the national spotlight
If you read our June cover story titled “The Church’s Response to Racism,” you know it was prompted partly by the fact that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed only 2.3 miles from our offices. Though the central Florida area has been reeling since then from the aftermath of the killing, the tragedy has actually unified pastors and leaders like never before.
I’ve been working to bring racial reconciliation in Sanford, Fla., for many years and I know it’s a divided city. But I never dreamed an incident in Sanford would gain national and international importance because of the questions it raises about racism.
Still, the issue of racism is much bigger than a single case in Sanford that’s since been pushed aside in the news cycle. Longtime Charisma readers know how aggressively we’ve covered this issue for years. Despite the advances that have been made in our culture, in the law and at many other levels, the problem remains.
Yet while the secular media played up the hurts and division, we’ve watched a hope-filled story of reconciliation develop behind the scenes. Now I need your help to get that message to the nation through a documentary on how pastors are leading the way to bring healing and unity among all races. I was able to get video footage from some of the reconciliation meetings we’ve had in our city—some in our own headquarters. It’s an untold story that is not making the nightly news. This 30-minute documentary will take the message of healing and restoration to the nation.
Please understand this is not a commercial venture; I truly believe it has kingdom purpose. I need to raise at least $50,000 through our nonprofit partner Christian Life Missions to create the documentary and buy some air time. I need your help and I need it now. We’ve already raised half of what’s needed, some via the fundraising site Indiegogo.com. But I’ve found that raising money to fight racism is not popular. That’s why to get the rest of the funds, I must reach out to those who know our heart and share our vision—you.
Go to documentary.christianlifemissions.org to watch a two-minute trailer of me sharing my heart. This is new ground for me, and yet I feel I must get out this message. As the issue becomes more heated—and I believe racial unrest is just below the surface in many cities in America—the church remains the only hope for reconciliation. The footage we’ve gathered proves this by telling the true story of what God is doing within the Sanford community and in America. This is bigger than one person, one organization or one town.
If you donate to Christian Life Missions, you’ll get a receipt for a tax deduction. And for those who want to send a love gift of $30 or more, we’ll send you a free DVD copy of the documentary, along with our June issue of Charisma. Since 1955, CLM has had utmost integrity and is a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
I am getting nothing from this; I’m merely trying to use my influence in the Sanford area and throughout the nation to bring racial reconciliation and healing. For those who know me, you know I’ve been doing this all my adult life. One of my close friends pointed out that it’s no accident our offices are just down the road—literally—from where this happened because it’s “for such a time as this.”
Go to documentary.christianlife missions.org to donate using PayPal or a credit card. Or you can send a check made payable to “Christian Life Missions” (marked for the “Racial Reconciliation Documentary”) to Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32746. Also, show this column to others who have a heart for this. Some of our biggest donations have come from churches when we’ve raised money after 9/11 and the Asian tsunami in 2004.
Know that every dollar will go toward getting out a message that won’t be heard anywhere else. This could be the most important donation you’ll make all year. Won’t you help me do what I believe God is calling me to do?
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