534 – Racism on Its Way Out in Mississippi
Twenty years ago, God used my friendship with Tom Skinner to help catalyze Mission Mississippi–a ministry of racial reconciliation in Christ that has expanded to 22 communities throughout the state. Participants love to say, “Grace is greater than race,” as they pursue their mission of “Reconciling Mississippi–one relationship at a time.”
For 20 years, their intentionality and determination has been relentless. As a result, Mississippi has changed forever. When we started, blacks and whites didn’t know each other–didn’t speak to each other. Today, blacks and whites routinely talk, laugh, play, and pray together.
Last night was a highlight for me, as I was privileged to speak at the grand finale of a remarkable 82-day journey, during which Fellowship of Christian Athletes student athletes carried a special cross through all 82 counties of Mississippi. In small cities throughout the state, people assembled in town squares, heard speeches, sang, and said prayers. In all, 12,000 people participated. Kudos to all the police escorts, students, and county boards of supervisors who participated to lift up the cross that is bringing down the sting of racial separation.
It has been a quiet story. I suspect God has protected them from a lot of publicity so they can actually “do” the work of reconciliation–not just “talk” about it. No doubt, more work needs to be done. But today is a special moment to celebrate a great change under way in Mississippi. The unthinkable has happened–racism is on the way out in Mississippi. Congratulations Mission Mississippi on 20 faithful years!