"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do Something Now - Passion 2012

One of the coolest parts of Passion was what it was about:

That it wasn't just about worshiping God,

That it wasn't just about learning about God,

That it was also about doing what Francis Chan told us when he spoke,

Reading the Bible

And going and doing it.

There are twenty-seven million slaves in the world today.

Twenty-seven million.

It's not just a statistic.

Those are real men, women, and children

In bondage

With little hope of escape.

Twenty-seven million.

At Passion 2012,

A generation was inspired,

A task was set before us,

And we decided to do something.


God was moving in so many hearts,

Calling us to take up the cause of justice,

To bring freedom to the oppressed.

Our goal was to raise one million dollars.

The organizations we were helping had thought it impossible.

A group of "poor" college students

Raise one million dollars?

But nothing is impossible with God.

The goal was to raise one million dollars.

By the time they told us our goal, several thousand had already been donated.

The first time they mentioned our progress

(I'm reasonably sure it was the first day.),

We had raised over half of our goal.

The first day.

Over half.

Sorry these are kind of blurry.  I think I should have turned my flash on.
Many students had to stand in line to donate.

At some points, the lines had a thousand people in them.

And the students were glad to wait,

Glad to stand in line,

Waiting to give whatever they could

To help end slavery.

A one hundred three-foot hand was erected outside the Georgia Dome,

A sculpture to symbolize the plight of twenty-seven million slaves.

It was covered in items made with slave labor.

Students wrote messages on the items,

Words of hope,

Born of the incredible hope we have

And the hope that we can make a difference,

That we can end slavery.

"Our God is greater!"
Poles were erected,

White flags hanging down,

Twenty-seven thousand of them,

Each one representing a thousand slaves.

They hung over the sidewalks,

Stretching on and on.

We held a vigil,

Late at night.

Forty-two thousand people

Filled up this area,

Prayed for the twenty-seven million.

At midnight, we began to light candles.

Voices began to sing,

First one,

Then thousands.

Oh . . .

We'll be a city on a hill, burning brightly.
We'll be a light to the world, shining Your glory.

Then the sculpture was lit.

There was a huge cheer!

Then people began to chant,

(To this day, I'm not sure if what they were chanting.

It was either "Freedom" or "Jesus".)

Then sing,

Then chant,

Then cheer!

We were moved by God,

And we were so glad to witness Him moving,

Through us,

Through our giving,

Our writing,

The only tiny actions we could take.

We also had another incredible opportunity.

While we were there, we sang many songs.

One of them was written to be shared with the world -

And to share with the world that slavery still exists.

We got to be in the music video.

People were jumping up and down

Every time the refrain came on,

And still singing at the tops of their lungs!

We were fighting for freedom

Any way we could.

The last day we learned how much we were able to do.

We had fully funded all of the original projects.

The leaders of the conference had planned others, though.

They told us exactly what our money had done for each organization,

Gave us an idea of how many we were helping.

Then -

Finally -

We learned how much we'd raised.

I expected two million.

I wasn't disappointed.

The students and young adults alone had raised about 2.6 million.

Two point six million dollars

From college students and young adults!

That wasn't all, though.

The people who run Passion let a few adults join us.

One couple was so inspired

By the way God was moving among us

That they gave five hundred thousand dollars.

Five hundred thousand dollars

Of their own money.

I was just blown away,

In shock.

We had raised over three million dollars

To fight human trafficking.

It blew my mind.

Best part?

It was all Him.

There's no way that forty-two thousand college-age students,

On their own,

Would ever raise that much money

(Even leaving out the five hundred thousand.)

It was Him moving in us,

Through us,

And I was blessed to be a part of it.

If you would like to see (and hear!!!) a little bit of our candlelight vigil, you can watch the CNN news report here.

If you would like to read more about what happened at Passion 2012 (and see awesome pictures), visit this page.

If you would like to read more about how we fought for freedom (and watch the Freedom film), visit this page.

If you would like to donate to Do Something Now and help end modern-day slavery, free the twenty-seven million, visit this page.

"Compelled" is written by Sara Groves and Charlie Peacock, performed by Sara Groves.  "With Everything" is performed by Hillsong United.  "I'm Not Ashamed" is (I believe) performed by Kristian Stanfill and Chris Tomlin.  "27 Million" is written by LZ7 and performed by LZ7, Matt Redman, and Beth Redman (I think).  Many thanks to these wonderful people for their incredible music.

If you are an 18-25 year old and couldn't come to Passion this year, I would really, really encourage you to find some way to go next year.  God moves in amazing ways at this conference!  You really shouldn't miss it!

To read more about my experience at Passion, check out these posts:
     At the Dome - Passion 2012
     Incomprehensible - Passion 2012
     I Went Expecting - Passion 2012
     Do Something Now - Passion 2012
     After the Dome - Passion 2012

Linking up over here today.

Please read some of the other posts that can be found at the bottom of this one.  It's such a blessing to be able to be a blessing to others!

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