Passion (5)

. . . continued from Passion (4)

We woke up early on Tuesday, January 4, because we had to have all our luggage packed and check out of our rooms by 8:15am. We brought everything to the lobby, from where it was taken and stored in a room somewhere. We started out on our last walk down Andrew Young Int’l Blvd.

We discussed this “mountain-top experience” in our community groups. I think we all would have readily agreed to stay at Passion for another week, or day, or hour, but, as my leader said, we were not meant to stay on top of the mountain. We must go out into the world, continue to move forward, and allow God to work in us as we reflect Him.
“When people see us, they shouldn’t see us . . . they should see Jesus!”
My family group exchanged contact information (yes, there are benefits to using Facebook!) and took a picture together. Our entire Pink Community Group had a group picture taken, and then we prayed and sang together.

Our last main session was in Philips Arena, which I was excited about (in a it-was-cool-but-it-wouldn’t-have-mattered-otherwise kind of way). We were all savoring the last few moments of lifting our voices among 22,000 others praising Christ.
“Come, magnify the Son!”
Admittedly, it’s not about the experience, but there is something to be said about an arena full of people raising a shout . . . not for a sports team, but for OUR GOD.

Louie Giglio spoke on Acts 9:1ff.
“Go wherever your passion leads you. It doesn’t matter where you go; it matters what you carry.”
God leads us very specifically sometimes, but not always. We can’t detangle this “mess” of a world we live in, but we can determine what we carry: Christ’s name.
“. . . ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”
~ Acts 9:15
When we “suffer for [Christ’s] name’s sake” (vs. 16), it’s not persecution against us, but against Christ in us. If people persecute us, it’s because we’re “annoying”. We do want people to like us; we should “live in peace with everyone” and be “winsome”.

It is not enough to agree to carry Christ’s name, we must be doers, not just hearers.

One of the ways we carry the name of Christ to the world is through justice . . . we were in tears and shock and awe as Louie announced, one by one, the totals from Do Something Now (Cause//Goal. Given):
  • Homeless//Towels and Socks for Atlanta area shelters. Given: 18,400 towels and 88,000 pairs of socks!
  • Clean water//$75,000 for 15 wells in villages in India. Given: 24 wells!
  • Micro-finance//200 small business loans for Afghan entrepreneurs totaling $40,000. Given: 387 loans!
  • Bibles//20,000 New Testaments to unreached in Colombia at $20,000. Given:31,554 New Testaments!
  • Feeding Children//Feed 1,000 at risk children in South Africa for one year at $50,000. Given: Feeding 2,225 children!
  • Homes//Build 15 homes in Haiti at $54,000. Given: 39 homes!
  • Sponsor Children//Sponsor 150 children and provide family essentials at a cost of $100,00. Given: 442 children sponsored!
  • Human trafficking//Restoration and a future for 10 girls trapped in sex slavery in Bolivia at a cost of $36,000. Given: 22 girls rescued/restored!
  • Surgeries for Children//$50,000 to fund 50 Hydrocephalus surgeries in Uganda. Given: 141 surgeries!
  • Rescue women//$45,000 to fund 10 rescue operations to free sex slaves in the Philippines (each operation frees 15 women on average). Given: 29 rescue operations!
  • Plus, College fund for Haitian earthquake survivor, Therissa Leo. Given:$23,106! (This was not planned beforehand or factored into the $470,000 goal.)
And Louie paused. All I heard was “One million . . .” before the arena erupted even louder than it had been as each individual total was announced. Wow. 22,000 college students, leaders, and volunteers, trusting God to provide, gave $1,167,249.24 for justice in Christ’s name. We were all speechless as we clapped and shouted and cried and screamed. God is so awesome, so far beyond comprehension . . . but sometimes I think we get just a glimpse of Him.

We all met again in the park, and then walked to where our bus was parked. We drove for a bit, and then stopped for lunch (at Chic-fil-A, of course). There is always the “tension” of coming back to “reality” after a life-changing experience like Passion. There was a lot of discussion on the long bus ride back to Michigan. There were a lot of Bibles open. But there were also ordinary conversations. There were smiles and laughs. We were bursting at the seams with joy and passion and boldness . . . yes, we had been “drinking from a fire hose”. God’s glory is like that.

It was a long, sixteen-hour bus ride home . . . back to ice and snow. We arrived back at Calvary Baptist Church about 6am on Wednesday, January 5, 2011. We got our luggage, said goodbyes, and, one by one, drove off into the cold early dawn.

And just like that, Passion 2011 was over. 

Or was it just beginning?
“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.”
~ Isaiah 26:8
Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church.
Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns.
Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives.
We believe You're all to us.
~ “All to Us”, Chris Tomlin

No comments :

Post a Comment