I recently returned from Passion 2011 in Atlanta GA. Passion is a 3 day conference for college students and High School seniors along with the adults who work with them. My husband, Tim, and I were both moved to go because of our daughter being a senior this year and also due to the fact that we work with college students in our church. I had always heard how amazing and transforming the weekend was but I never could have imagined just how life changing it would be!
The weekend was filled with general sessions and small community group sessions with Godly men and women like Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, John Piper, Andy Stanley and Beth Moore. Worship was led by David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. The Phillips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta were filled with students worshipping together! I can’t begin to describe just how incredible it was to experience worship in that way! It is truly encouraging to know that there is a generation of young people with hearts that burn for the Lord and His work in this world!
Leaving it at that would not be telling the whole story. The most moving experience of the weekend was our visit to the “GO” Center. The bottom floor of the Georgia World Congress Center was transformed into a rustic, third world environment where you could visit various booths and take part in hands-on activities to learn about ways you can “DO SOMETHING” for others! It was amazing!!! I have always known of the needs in our world but to experience them in this way was so meaningful and transforming! Organizations such as Compassion, Feed the Hungry, International Justice Mission, Homes for Haiti……… were all present. How could I ever be the same after seeing the table of food set up representing what an average American family of 4 eats in one week versus what an average family of 4 in Africa eats in a week – unbelievable!!! (I will say that in some ways, they are eating much less but more whole than we are!) Also, the Compassion market where you could walk through a mock village and get a glimpse of how people live in different areas - see the way the mosquito nets that are provided by sponsors are used and what the schools, the markets and the medical clinics look like. I also had the opportunity to speak with a young man from Africa that had been a part of the Compassion program since childhood. It was amazing to be able to ask all the questions I have wanted to ask our own sponsored child in Rwanda - what they think about their sponsors, how are they affected by our support each month and what can we do to create an even tighter bond with our child. He encouraged me to write to Daniel and create that bond with him through letters and pictures.
And then there was the International Justice Mission booth. Life-changing for me! Please check out the IJM website at IJM.org and see what you can do to get involved! Tim and I will be attending the Global Prayer Gathering in Washington DC with International Justice Mission. We are just praying for ways that we can support this great ministry and the work that they do for those who are suffering in slavery around the world. And if you ever get the chance – go to Passion! Next January it will be held in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta! Go to their website for registration information 268generation.com