Can you feel it? God is doing something amazing in this generation as a wave of students around the globe are joining their lives to a Story that is so much bigger than their own. And what better place to see that happen than in one of the world's collegiate epicenters, Boston, MA. Home to over 300,000 university students, and the heart of New England, Boston holds a special place in the Passion Movement. Our first gathering there, a free tour event in the famed Orpheum Theater, was the largest Christian collegiate event in recent memory (if not ever) and was a historic moment as students saw a venue known for some of the best rock shows in town filled with the fame of Jesus. Ever since that night Passion has sought to return to Boston and on October 12/13 it's going to happen.
Passion Boston is for the students of the city, but more importantly, a gathering for students from the surrounding region. In fact, the largest group to register so far is a group of cadets from West Point in New York! Like Chicago the week following, Passion Boston is 2 days, 4 main sessions and Passion's core shrunk into a weekend that we hope will change the world.
Passion Boston is coming fast (and schools don't start there for several more weeks!!), so help us spread the word to anyone and everyone you know in New England (and Chicagoland and the Midwest).
PS- Thanks to sixsteps and DC*B for lending a great track to the promo video from the new Crowder release Remedy.
Well, the summer hiatus is over and we're back. You college kids are back at the lovely [insert: dorm, apartment, suite, condo, house], having made the prerequisite trips to [insert according to preference: Walmart, Target] and ready for another great year of higher learning. And to all you guys around the globe in the 268BLOG family, welcome back to you, too!
AND I'm back. Yes, my friends, the 268BLOG is once again up and running, and in coming days the Passion Podcast will be back to life as well! It's been an amazing summer, and I realize now a faithful and true blogger would have kept you posted on the whole journey, but the pace of this summer required a little break from the Blog, so here's the brief rundown of travels past:
June meant crazy teens at BigStuf PC (see former post) for one of the most memorable moments of my life. Somehow, the simplicity of the gospel landed that night in such a supernatural way. I will never forget it.
Soon after, CT and I were with about 6000 students in Myrtle Beach, SC and it was Indescribable. I'll always remember that week for several things, but the one that stands out the most was talking one night about hope, and where we turn when the bottom falls out of life. As I was telling the students that while life may be good now, in a day, an hour, a week or a month things were going to change, hard times were coming and the bottom would drop out of life as they know it, a student left the talk to take a call on his phone in the lobby. On the other end of the phone was the news that his mom had been shot twice in a drug deal gone bad. As I walked off the platform after talking about where we turn in moments like these, the convention center security guard backstage told me about what had happened. A few minutes later, CT and I were praying with a hurting high school student backstage. Thankfully, his mom survived the shooting, but still has a massive struggle with the issues that put her in that situation in the first place.
Speaking of camps, July brought my last for the summer... in Daytona Beach, FL. Do you see a theme developing here? Panama City Beach, Mrytle Beach, Daytona Beach....ahh, the glamorous life of a speaker. (That's an inside joke for you guys in far away places who are thinking, "what's so wrong with being at these lovely beaches?")
The Daytona week was interesting, but I think we finally clicked into gear toward the end and started acting like/worshiping like people who have actually seen the wonder of the cross. I was moved that week by how many people are carrying really hard stuff, and especially by my new friend Jessie from North Carolina, who is dealing with a kind of cancer so rare less than 100 people in the US have been diagnosed with it. The hope in her voice and light in her life was shining like crazy for a God she has never lost faith in through it all. Jessie, you are an amazing young woman and God is broadcasting so loudly through you!
In between these camps was a trip back to Australia for Hillsong Conference, one of the best experiences ever. Shelley and I had a blast, and God used the Indescribable message in a way that was just that. It's hard to put that week (and the time in Sydney with friends) into words, but the Hillsong guys are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and the stuff they are leading is incredible. I believe these days shaped our lives forever. PS- Sydney's not too shabby either, and more than makes up for PC, MB and DB put together! Can you say Bondi beach?!?!
Our summer travels closed with a trip to the world's largest city (with all due respect to my new fav, Tokyo, which boasts the same title), for a gathering of 15000 mostly young people called Encuentro. Ciudad de Mexico was pretty "wow," and we were hosted by new friends and conference leaders Enrique and Tita who have only been doing this event since 2003. This was the third Encuentro gathering and people came from all across Mexico and other countries as well. What floored Shelley and me was the story of how it all started, a Passion-ripple that is one of the most amazing and humbling we've ever heard. Her story is a bit long to share here, but I share it on the first new Passion Podcast coming later this week. The conference was so encouraging, as have all the gatherings I have seen in Seoul, Hong Kong, Manila, Tokyo, Adelaide and Sydney in recent months. God is building a beautiful worldwide Church and it exceeds anything and everything we have ever imagined!
Well, few other special gatherings in ATL (thanks to the Summer Gathering and Destiny), combined with a full speed schedule at the Passion House as we get ready for fast-approaching Regional gatherings in Boston and Chicago (and are laying the groundwork for the Passion World Tour) has made for a summer that was a quite a blur. But what a beautiful blur!! So much is happening with Passion it's hard to keep up some days...so in the coming weeks we'll be sharing more about the six US Regionals, the World Tour and Crowder's latest wonder, Remedy, which is coming September 25.
But for now, Welcome Back! I've missed you and it's great to see you again. LG