A Puerto Rican director of 10,000 youth within 200 multicultural churches for the Assemblies of God (AG), Jonathan Rivera plans to join 60,000 from different nations, tribes, peoples and languages for an event at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 14.
"I believe that we're going to get a true picture of heaven, of what the church is and looks like," Rivera says of the massive gathering at the home field of the Kansas City Chiefs.
As an AG youth leader in Orlando, Florida, Rivera says part of his mission is convincing a generation of young people that they are not just a mission field, but also a missions force. He expects The Send, a massive convergence of mostly Gen Z, will help him.
"We work with young people, resourcing and mobilizing events in missions, generosity, evangelism, social media and churches," says Rivera.
A stadium event, The Send is a collaboration of ministries united around Jesus' words in Matthew 28:19 to go and bring the gospel to the nations. High schools, universities, communities and vulnerable children are mission fields ripe for harvest, too, The Send (thesend.org) leaders believe.
The Send also shares Rivera's belief that the Great Commission is from every nation to every nation.
"The cool thing about the Latino church is it's not just Mexican. It's Colombian, Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian. It's cultures coming together to do incredible things for the Lord," says Rivera.
Rivera points out that within the United States, one in four babies born is Latino. By the year 2050, the Latino population will be 100 million people. But like this nation's demographics, The Send is a multiethnic missions movement.
A black woman and missionary from America to the nations, Yasmin Pierce believes The Send presents an opportunity to build a bridge between black people and missions. As part of the Circuit Rider missions movement — one of several ministry partners with The Send — Pierce helped launch Black Voices last year.
The movement will host a two-day rally — May 12 through 13 — at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOPKC) before the stadium event at Arrowhead on Saturday. Hundreds of black men and women will be equipped and empowered as gospel messengers to campuses, communities and nations.
"It's amazing to see what God is doing and the desire in the hearts of young black individuals who say, 'I want to preach the gospel. I want to lift up the name of Jesus in all that I'm doing,' whether it's occupational ministry or in another sphere of influence," says Pierce.
Like Circuit Riders, the Black Voices Movement goes to colleges and communities. In the past year, the movement empowered a team of young preachers, many of whom are also recent college graduates.
"They are just on fire for Jesus. This past fall and into the spring they went to 20 historically black college campuses (HBCUs) and into communities with majority black churches to preach the gospel. But also to provide vision for a lifestyle of missions.
"A lot of times you'll find that in the HBCUs, people are on fire for Jesus and reaching their community but don't believe they can be used in a broader sense of missions," says Pierce, who thinks The Send will change hearts about reaching nations.
Reams of people at Black Voices gatherings came forward to give their lives to Jesus last year. "There was a team in Greensboro, North Carolina, where members put up a sound system on the campus union to preach. As soon as they gave the invitation, people rushed down to the front and gave their lives to Jesus," Pierce says.
The Circuit Riders' song "Every Nation" is stirring people's hearts for tribes and tongues like the vision in Revelation 7.
"We have seen so many miracles happening," Pierce says. "But one of the biggest things, honestly, is seeing the personal activation and empowerment of young people who say, 'My voice is needed by all cultures,'" she adds.
The ministry recently completed a campaign in Burundi, the poorest country in the world, in East Africa next to Rwanda.
"We saw over 5,000 give their lives to Jesus — in one week — and then plug into on-fire, discipleship-oriented churches. We started with training for church members to learn how to share the gospel. Then we went out to do street evangelism into neighborhoods where the Burundian locals preached the gospel. We saw blind eyes open. Deaf ears open," Pierce says.
Meesh Fomenko, a ministry founder from Moldova, believes The Send will be a catalytic event for missions, prayer, adoption and revival. "I really believe the glory of God is going to be coming on individuals — a mantle is going to fall on a generation that's going to see the world flipped," Fomenko says.
Excited about what God is doing in the Slavic community in America today, Fomenko came here with family in 1989 at age 6. A unique community, Slavics like Fomenko's family came to America to escape religious persecution from Communist regimes.
"We know the history of Christianity; the more it's persecuted, the more it expands. There are countless stories of Slavics who are imprisoned, beaten and killed for the gospel. It's crazy right now watching what's happening," says Fomenko, who plans to preach in Ukraine after The Send.
There is something on the Slavic culture that Fomenko believes is needed in America today, particularly the West Coast.
"What we're seeing across America is Slavics my age — in their 30s and 40s — planting churches. It's been so beautiful to watch," he says.
Fomenko's dad became a Christian at 17; his mom was 16. He recalls that Bibles were smuggled into the Soviet Union by people willing to lay down their lives.
"I'm one of the guys now going to the nations from America, releasing something in the Slavic voice that's full of compassion, zeal, holiness and reverence," says Fomenko who leads a ministry, Be Moved, in California.
Just recently at an evangelistic meeting, Fomenko's 5-year-old daughter called out a word of knowledge that the Lord was healing a wrist. Somebody with carpal tunnel syndrome was healed.
"We love seeing God not only talked about but demonstrated. Jesus' number-one form of evangelism was healing and deliverance," Fomenko says.
At The Send, Fomenko believes God is going to mark people. "There's going to be a manifest deposit from people who've been walking in it," he says.
Beginning May 9 and continuing until the main event on May 14, Kansas City will be flooded with prayer, worship, training and evangelism with partner ministries Youth With A Mission (YWAM), Lou Engle Ministries, Circuit Riders, Christ for all Nations (CfaN), Lifestyle Christianity, Dunamis, Crazy Love and more.
Steve Rees is a former general assignment reporter who, with one other journalist, first wrote about the national men's movement Promise Keepers from his home in Colorado. Rees and Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney attended the Boulder Vineyard. Today Rees writes in his free time.
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