A number of Christian groups that have been holding revival services at the site where George Floyd died in Minneapolis say they're seeing many people turn to God in baptisms and miracles are happening.
“So tonight God’s moving. There’s a lot of people that gave their lives to the Lord again. We were baptizing people right here at the memorial. God’s on the move. It’s wonderful,” said Joshua Lindquist, a young Christian leader with Global Revival Harvest, who has been broadcasting the Unity Revival on his Facebook page since it started on Wednesday.
“I have a friend of mine, his name is J.T. Thomas, he said, ‘revival is the new form of protest.’ Meaning, when injustice happens and the pain is there, the best way to heal hearts and to bring what’s right and to bring what’s truly real, is to petition Heaven. When revival breaks out it’s the kingdom of Heaven breaking in,” he said in a broadcast from Thursday night.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was shown on eyewitness video dying on May 25 with the knee of white officer Derek Chauvin pressed into his neck as two other officers with the Minneapolis Police Department held onto his back and legs while he was handcuffed and on the ground. Four officers were at the scene and none took action to physically pull Chauvin off Floyd, who said he was struggling to breathe.
Officer Thomas Lane, who was holding on to Floyd's legs, twice asked whether they should roll Floyd on his side, saying he was concerned about "excited delirium." The final time Lane asked that question Floyd was already unresponsive. Chauvin, however, continued to press his knee into Floyd's neck even after he was dead.
All the officers involved in the tragedy have been fired.
Chauvin, 43, has been charged with second-degree murder while former Minneapolis officers J. Alexander Kueng, 26, Lane, 37, and Tou Thao, 34, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for their role in Floyd’s death.
Massive protests nationwide and globally have been calling for justice and police reform.
Pointing to the “Parable of the Unjust Judge” told by Jesus in Luke 18, Lindquist said the Church can help bring justice to the crisis beyond what the world can offer. In the parable, a poor widow seeking justice is initially rejected by a judge, but because she is persistent with her demand, he eventually responds.
“She was persistent and [it] says in Luke 18, shall not God avenge his elect that cry out day and night and she cried out for justice. … The earthly courts can only do so much, politicians can only do so much, we need to petition the politicians … ultimately petitioning the throne of God, revival is the new form of protest,” Lindquist said. “I just believe that the church can step in and see a move of God that can bring healing to hearts that can bring justice down from Heaven.”
In a broadcast from Wednesday night, Lindquist explained that they were invited into the community by a local church and noted the presence of Pastor Charles Karuku of International Outreach Church, a growing multi-racial congregation in Burnsville, Minnesota, who he said was asked by Floyd’s family to spread the message of healing and forgiveness in the community.
“This pastor who is preaching right now, his name is Charles Karuku and George Floyd’s family asked him to come here and share his message of forgiveness and healing through Jesus every day he can. They endorsed him. They said, ‘please, this is the message the community needs,’” he said.
He also confirmed that along with a number of baptisms he had witnessed, he also saw miracles.
“I don’t know if you believe in miracles but I do, and there was a deaf ear that popped open. God did a miracle. God’s using this tragic situation for his glory. God is shifting the narrative. Out of his (Floyd’s) life, many will come to the Lord. Many will come to Jesus,” he said.
Other ministries that have been at the site include Youth With a Mission and Circuit Riders, a California-based missions movement, Fox News reported.
Christophe Ulysse, 37, a YWAM leader based in Kona, Hawaii, told the news network they were witnessing real change in the community.
"We're going from pain and hatred to healing and hope," Ulysse, who's a black Canadian Christian leader, said.
“We need to show that we can affect positive change," Ulysse continued. "You have a voice and you can go to the nations. You can carry this on. We’re empowering them to be carriers of hope."
He explained that while the tragedy has affected his diverse team differently, he has been inspired by the hope of the Gospel.
"I came here and I was broken. It affects team members differently, but those of us of color, as we're here, we're watching the change happen through the Gospel. My heart is so filled with hope. Those in the neighborhood are saying this is unprecedented unity. They're feeling an outpouring of love and hope from this nation,” he said.
"For us, there is this deep conviction that we have tried everything to deal with this issue. We've tried politics, we've tried economics, and we've tried social reform," Ulysse, who recalled the Rodney King riots as a kid, noted. "It's the same thing over and over. We have to go back to what actually works."