I am so thankful for Passion 2013. Words are not enough to describe the impact of Passion 2013 on me and how God spoke to me, nevertheless, I will try to sum it up.
I went to a conference in Atlanta. ONE WORD: It was AWESOME!
I was physically drained by the end of the day but was spiritually high. The theme of the conference was to make Jesus renown in our generation and spread his freedom through combating modern day slavery or human trafficking. About 60,000 college kids/ young adults gathered in the Georgia dome worshiping as one, praying as one, moving as one and believing as one.
Seeing them glorify God and praise Him is one of the most awe-inspiring things I ever see. It was so powerful and overwhelming at that time in the dome. I made quite a number of life-long friends, got insight again on modern day slavery and discovered myself more.
The worship was phenomenal as well as the messages. The musicians represented were Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Lecrae, Jesus culture. The speakers were Louie Giglio, John Piper, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, Gary Haugen. During the conference, many global lives were transformed in different ways.
So altogether we have 5 sessions:
Louie was the speaker. He talked about believing the fact that God will do immeasurably more in our lives than we can ever hope for. And we should put our trust and believe in Him.
"God is God of immeasurably more than you can ask." - Louie Giglio
The speaker was Beth, she was so filled with enthusiasm when she speaks. She talked about the symbolic meaning of the raising of glass in the Passover meal.
"Good is something that happened to me, but glad... Glad is when I accept it. The gospel is both good news and glad news." - Beth Moore
Session 3: Francis Chan was the speaker. He was so direct and transparent. He talked about trust issues and how we can trust God. He talked about how God is always faithful even if we are unfaithful to him. He is unchangeable.
"If you want to experience God, then go and make disciples." - Francis Chan
The morning session was by Judah Smith. His messages were really powerful. He spoke about the importance of community among believers. The idea that God is a community in and of himself. That community is the essence of the church. To love, connect and interact together, to praise and to sing together.
"How important is community to God? God himself is community!" - Judah Smith
Session 5:Then that night, John Piper came. Wow he blew my mind, he is a great speaker, he brought a higher level of thinking on the idea of suffering as a believer. His message was to embrace the hardships and sufferings that will come with choosing to follow Jesus’s footsteps. We must not fear the suffering but to enjoy it and look forward to a reward later because we will rejoice later in heaven.
"If you follow the path of love, you will suffer. Yet the path will allow you not only to endure but to embrace suffering because you are being liberated from the power of Satan." - John Piper
The last day, Louie wrapped up the conference emphasizing that we need God’s breath in us in order for us to come to life. Without moving in the spirit, there
much we can do.
"Your freedom is for freedom." - Louie Giglio
For me, the most awesome part was my community group. We were broken down into smaller community groups which have about 3000 people, then into family groups which have about 8 people.
We will then meet every morning before the sessions and every night after the sessions to talk about our days, process what we learned, prayed together, encourage one another. To me, it was really frightening at first to sit together with a group of strangers coming from different places. But I can say that I was truly blessed. Although we were quite different (all sorts of colors, shape, and culture), the group showed me a great example of how Christ connects strangers. As a non-believer, I could really feel God's strong presence in each of them.
My adorable family group.
During the 2
day of the conference, I was once again exposed to the issue of modern slavery. In the conference, they showed us a video, narrating a story of a girl named Rachel from the Philippines who was saved by Christ. She also made an appearance at the conference that night. I was nearly moved to tears when she actually thank us with a big smile on her face. God was so real to me at that moment, it’s just crazy to see how God transformed her life.
I feel there is hope for the other 27 million people out there. So I want to encourage everyone to go onto
to pledge and also donate. You may not be able to save each individual on your own but just making it known and creating awareness that slavery is a real thing and it still exist in this world can make a difference!
The coolest part of the conference was being able to attend an international meeting to meet people from different parts of the world such as Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia. I love these meetings as I get to meet people from different backgrounds. It’s amazing how God brought all these people all the way from their home countries to the States. I met a group from Finland, they actually went for another conference called Urbana Conference before they came for Passion. Looking at how passionate they were for God is just really inspiring to me.
Besides that, I also met someone who was being saved through Compassion. His name is Laurent from Rwanda, so in 1994, genocide happened in Rwanda and Laurent’s family was one of the victims. His father died. And his mother and sister with him ran away and were living in poverty. They
have enough money to make a living. By God's grace, Compassion found him, someone sponsored him, he managed to complete his education and graduate as a dental practitioner. He is now traveling around the world testifying his story. It’s just really crazy to meet with someone face to face who was being saved and how God transformed his life. I felt convicted to sponsor another child here.
What I learned is that God can do immeasurably more than I can ever imagine. God has my future in His hands and he knows me better than I know myself.
Secondly, I know that what I've done in the past doesn't make God love me less. God is always the same and he won't change his character.
I trust in His unfailing love, rejoice in His salvation and sing to the Lord for he has always been good to me. :)
Some pictures of our conference. Credits to my friends.
In front of CNN building with the people I stay with.
We met HMCC people!
Georgia Dome at night with all the beautiful lights
International students at the conference
Georgia dome in the morning