Last week 45,000 young people, ages 18-25, gathered in Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate freedom in the name of Jesus at the Passion 2012 Conference. Centered on Isaiah 26:8 (“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your Truth, we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our souls.”), the Passion Movement has been growing since it began in 1997. The Passion team is led by founder Louie Giglio in a mission to spread the name of Jesus and spiritual awakening to college campuses around the globe.
This year the conference sold out, filling the Georgia Dome with 45,000 eager and excited students. Faced with the startling truth that 27 million men, women and children are the victims of slavery and human trafficking in the world today, these students took a stand to make a difference.
“This year at Passion 2012, we want to bring this darkness into the light. We long to wrap our arms around those who are hurting and help bring an end to modern day slavery in the name of Jesus. Together, we will lend our voice to the 27 million who have no voice and do everything we can to fight for freedom. During the conference, our goal is to raise $1 million to fund incredible organizations that are fighting to bring prevention, freedom, and restoration to those trapped in slavery. Whether you can give a little or a lot, together we are a force for good!” –Louie Giglio
As money was raised, the students wrote prayers on pieces of material made by slave labor that were pieced together into a large piece of freedom art. This unique hand reaches into the sky in the center of Atlanta as a reminder for people to rise up against the bondage and darkness in the world today. The Passion Band led by Chris Tomlin introduced a new song called “White Flag.” The hand sculpture is a beautiful representation of the lyrics, “We raise our white flag. We surrender all to you, all for you. We raise our white flag. The war is over. Love has come. Your love has won.”
Over the three-day conference, these students not only met the one million dollar goal, but raised $3,066,670 to end slavery in the name of Jesus. This amount has continued to grow to over 3.3 million since the conference ended on Thursday, January 5.
Giglio went into the week with Luke 7:16-17 on his heart. Eugene Peterson’s translation says, “They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, ‘God is back, looking to the needs of his people!’ The news of Jesus spread all through the country.” In Thursday’s closing session, Giglio pronounced that this scripture had certainly come true during the days of Passion 2012. Raising over three million dollars, these students made national news. In the days following the conference, the stories of what God did at Passion 2012 is spreading across the world. This generation is not one to be counted out; they are on the rise, taking a stand to fearlessly proclaim the mystery and freedom of the gospel. You, too, can join the movement and become a part of bringing freedom in the name of Jesus today.
Did you go to Passion 2012? Share your experience in the comments below.