From Jan 2nd to Jan 5th, I had the privilege to gather with 44,000 of my peers for the glory of God at a conference called Passion 2012. Together we moved to “Do Something Now” and raised $3,066,670 to end slavery. Such a beautiful testimony of what can happen when we link hands and give what we can. Crazy to think all that money came from college students. Did you know that there are 27 million people in slavery today? That is more then ever before in all of history. So much of it is happening right under our nose, in our own cities. Women in the sex trade being raped repeatedly and held captive in rooms, used for their body. Many of the things we enjoy on a daily basis has been crafted by the hands of slaves. We need to take a stand to end modern day slavery. Get involved and get educated. We cannot stand by and look away claiming to not know what is going on. If you are interested in wanting to know more about ministries who fight modern day slavery through prevention, rescue and restoration here are some we supported at Passion:
Passion 2012 was an amazing experience that completely broke me and rebuilt me and broke me again. Being in one place with 44,000 people that love Jesus just like you is truly a slice of heaven. There were some fabulous speakers, amazing worship bands and times to meet before the Lord. We met in community groups where we had the opportunity to meet with 8 to 10 or our peers and discuss the things we were learning. I met some amazing people with testimonies that confirm that God never forsakes His people. Finding Christ is like being struck by lightning, all of the sudden it happens and you are never the same. I am going to tell you a little about the things that I heard while at Passion. I will probably devote a couple more posts to all I saw/heard and learned. But here is a start.
Acclimate was a campaign that began before Passion. All across the globe we read the Word in preparation to come together. It scrolled through the Bible and we all read the same thing at the same time. Right as Passion began we read the final chapter’s together. Acclimate went through the Bible five times before opening night. Louie Giglio opened the conference reminding us all about how this whole gathering is all is for Jesus. He spoke to us from Luke 7:11-16 talking to us about the ways that Jesus can interrupt or life and raise us from the dead. He painted such a powerful image coming from this passage. This widow’s son had died and was being carried out. When He saw her his heart went out to her. Someone needs to know that God’s heart goes out to you. He sees you in your pain, hurting, suffering and grief. Jesus walked up to the stretcher and touched the boy and told him to sit up. He was raised from the dead. Louie reminded us that God can raise us from the dead. Some of us are still stretched out dead, being carried to our grave. Maybe we know Jesus but haven’t fully submitted our whole life to Him, living for Him alone. Or maybe other’s have never heard of Jesus or don’t know who or what He is all about and wonder why someone would let Him raise us from the dead, let alone don’t know they are dead. But Louie reminded us that “God came to interrupt your funeral procession. Jesus is here just at the right time.” Sin put us in an eternal grave. It is sin that separates us from God, until we repent and except Him as the One who came to save us from sin. He died to set us free from sin and restore our relationship with God the Father we are on a stretcher being carried out to an eternal death.
On the second day we heard from Beth Moore who spoke out of Luke 8:40-48. Her words were powerful and poignant. As she spoke about the woman with the issue of blood she uncovered the power of faith. This woman had been menstruating for 12 years straight. Historically women who were menstruating had to be separated from society because they were considered unclean and were not allowed to come back into society until their cycle had finished. Imagine 12 years of complete isolation. She had done everything she could think of and spent all her money to find a remedy for her problem. And then she heard about Jesus, a man who could heal. She walked through a crowd just to touch him, maybe she would be cured. Beth noted that we feel a great amount of discomfort talking about a woman who bled for 12 years. That same discomfort is like what we feel with our darkest secrets. Those secret shames that we would never share with the world. Things that we would do anything to undo, change or be free from. It was a secret that she needed healing from. We all have those secrets too. The woman reached out and touched the tassel on Jesus’ garment and she was healed. All she had to have was faith that Jesus would heal her. More on this later. It touched my soul deeply.
We also heard from Christine Caine, one of the founders of the ministry A21, a ministry dedicated to rescuing women out of sex trafficking. She has such a powerful testimony and ministry that is working to end sex trafficking. She talked about the way that compassion is not compassion until you get involved. Compassion is not something you have sitting on the side lines and feeling sad for something that is happening. It is using your resources and energy to get involved and make a change to help those you feel compassion for. I loved the way that she said “Compassion is not compassion until you cross the street.” We have to cross the street and do something. “God wants to use rescued people to rescue people”. It is so true. Those that experience healing of Christ desire for all people to experience the love of Christ. Another beautiful picture she used was comparing the light of Christ with a flashlight. You cannot see the light of the flashlight if you are not in the dark. In order for Christ’s light to be seen we need to go find some darkness and shine into it.
Outside the Atlanta Dome, where we met at Passion, there was a hand being erected to be a visual sign of the slavery that we were combatting. On the hand was things that were made by slaves. Things like toys, stuffed animals, christmas ornaments, denim, coffee and other goods that are everyday luxuries to us. This hand towered over the International Plaza where on the third night we gathered in silence, complete silence and lit candles at midnight. The hand was lit up and we began praying and singing praises to God, believing He will move to free those in bondage.
If you haven’t seen CNN covered some of what happened at Passion 2012. Click here to check it out for yourself. We are a generation rising up to take our place. We will make a difference for His great Name!!!
More to come on Passion 2012. Stop by tomorrow for more pictures and tidbits on what I learned from some of the teachers that spoke 🙂