Happy Monday and Happy New Year! I have to admit, I’m a little ashamed that this is my first post of the new year. But so far this year, I’ve had a great time being fully present and enjoying life with those around me.
I write this from my aunt’s home in Middle Georgia. I am on a week-long vacation to spend time with family and friends in Georgia and attend the Passion 2014 conference. For those who don’t know, the Passion conference is a Christian gathering of thousands of young adults from all over the country. Although this will be my first year attending the conference, the church and movement that it stems from are very close to my heart. I was introduced to Passion through my best friend Jeida at a very pivotal point in my life, where Christ pursued me and made it clear that my salvation mattered more to Him than my happiness at that moment. This movement’s mission is simply this: to glorify God – uniting students in worship and prayer for spiritual awakening in this generation.
The Passion movement’s founder Louie Giglio, was inspired by Isaiah 26:8, which says,
“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
While studying at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Passion City Church became a home away from home. I would attend their Friday Night gatherings for college students, sometimes the Sunday services and even frequented small-group Bible studies. From these experiences, I was inspired and encouraged to live for God in a new way, with new intensity. I started to care about injustice, the pain of others and making a difference in a real way. One of the most life-changing messages I’ve ever heard from behind any pulpit was by the founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Hagen. IJM functions to free people living as slaves in human and sex-trafficking and Haugen, a Christian, has dedicated his life to this cause. He spoke about how people in terrible situations know that God is good because we, His hands and feet, go out and help them. The messages I’ve heard at PCC have shaped my outlook on topics ranging from passion to prayer, family matters to dating.
Since attending Passion 2014 in Atlanta is a homecoming of sorts for me, the question I’ve been pondering these past few weeks is simple: what should the result of this conference be in my life? After much contemplation, I realize that more than anything, I want an encounter with the Holy Spirit that I never forget. I want God to shake my world and ruffle my feathers out of comfort. I want the fire that I once had lit again. So as I make my way to the conference, I ask that you pray for me. Pray that God reveals himself to me and to others. Pray that the Holy Spirit comes through the Philips Arena like a fire. Pray for those traveling from all over the country to be involved. Pray for the souls that will be saved. Pray for the leaders and all volunteering. And lastly, pray that what starts in the Philips Arena will not end there, but that it will be carried to all of the places that people are retuning to and that what starts in Atlanta will create a ripple effect throughout our country and world, for His name and renown.
Thanks in advance for your prayers and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you after the conference.