Passion 2012 is already behind us which is bittersweet. It's going to be impossible for me to knit words together that will convey the experience I had, but I'm going to try and give you a small taste of the way that the Lord's presence moved in and through Passion 2012.
First, check out this little video. Oh I hope it works and is clear enough- it's just a little iPhone video I took during worship on day #2 during one of my favorite corporate worship songs.
I just only hope you can see from the video the magnitude that was Passion 2012. The dream team upgraded to the Georgia Dome last year because Philips Arena had more than sold out. Little did anyone know, the Georgia Dome would also sell out- meaning approximate 45,000 people, mainly 18-25 year olds would gather together to praise and proclaim the name of God. It was marvelous and breathtaking. All of us singing along together made my ears ring. It was as close a picture that I have experienced to what Heaven might be like- all God's people gathering together and praising Him.
Here's our little group, who as I previously mentioned, was awesome. In the face of little sleep and cramped quarters, they were patient and kind to one another. It was so exciting, as a leader of this motley crew, to see them experience the presence of God in their own way. Two of our students came to a knowledge of God's grace in their lives and jumped in headfirst to a life committed to Christ. One of them will openly share about a life formerly ensnared by addiction, anger, and depression. To see the renewed joy on his face and his new understanding of peace and freedom- this did my heart a world of good. Our God is so good.
Check out some more shots from around the Dome:
(this is a shot from the top of the dome!)
Dr. Piper! He is always a challenge, but in a good way, and this week was no shortage. Jordan and I were lucky enough to hear both Dr. Piper and Francis Chan twice as they both spoke to our community group and at a main session. We also heard from Beth Moore, Louie Giglio, and Christine Caine (more about her later...). There was a huge emphasis this year on reading scripture. But wait- you say- isn't that the point? Yes, but the reading wasn't a few verses that are tied into a message. The opening session spent the first 45 minutes simply reading passages from the Bible. Just the Bible. Then, on Wednesday, the morning session consisted of reading the book of Ephesians. Just the Bible. It was refreshing. It was glorious.
I'll save another post to discuss the cause that Passion 2012 adopted, so stay tuned to hear what 45,000 college students raised $3 million to support.
Jordan and I were in the glitter black community group. Yes, there were so many people and so many community groups that there were plain color groups and glitter color groups. Two thumbs up to whomever decided on using glitter to differentiate additional groups. Three thumbs up to the person who designated the leader group as glitter black. It satisfied the magpie in me. Anyway. Enough about glitter. Tim Smith, senior executive pastor at Pinelake Church in MS, was our fearless leader. Again this year, I had a girl from Australia in my family group (Hayley kept me sane and offered a little extra girl power to a group of men), which I find to be phenomenal that someone would travel from Australia to Passion. It just goes to show how far reaching Passion (and most importantly, God's glory) really is.
Stay tuned for more updates and stories from Passion 2012.