Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Than A Memory

We haven't forgotten the faces of Kyiv.

Couldn't have been a better night for stop 1.

Welcome to Sweden.

Passion loves Stockholm.

Stockholm style.

Redman leads in Swedish.

Beautiful Brazil!

Were they ever ready for Passion SP.

These guys in Sao Paulo, and many more like
them everywhere, made this tour possible.

Some of us on the heliport of our SP hotel.

Not the easiest place to do an event!

But there are no smiles like Ugandan smiles.

Crazy. Expressive. Full on. Happiness.

Amazing Nirva!

Being blessed by His Grace?

The most beautiful kids...you heard this on the podcast.

Yes Lord.

Praying before Paris.

The city's largest university worship gathering?!?!

More volunteers in Paris.

DC in Paris.

A massive night in London.

London faces.

Well, five days have gone by since our post-London blog. Kinda weird, huh? Shelley and I headed back to Paris for a few days and have now arrived home to Atlanta. Re-entry has been a little strange after being on the go for almost a month, but we are happy to be home. (Driving for the first time in four weeks was a strange sensation!). But even though we are thousands of miles away from London, and Kyiv seems like forever ago, we are very much living and breathing the first six amazing cities we have visited and still stunned by what we have seen and experienced.

Back at the Passion House the countdown to Manila is on and plans for Leg 2 are in full swing. But how can we forget the incredible faces of new friends in Ukraine, Stockholm, SP, Kampala, Paris or the UK? Every few seconds I find my mind wandering back to one of the unforgettable moments of the past four weeks and I'm overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude that God allowed us to be a part of what he is doing around the globe.

It's been pretty cool talking to people who have been following the blog and podcasts each step of the way. Just by the expression on their faces I could tell that many of you really did make this trip with us even though you never left home. Thank you for praying for us each step of the way. We have a long way to go and much to trust God for as we look toward the next 11 cities. And we still really need your prayers, even though we are home. I am praying Isaiah 52:12b (and 58:8) for our whole team, as well as all those who were a part of these first six events. "For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard."

Happy to be part of a worldwide movement!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Let's All Say It Together - London = Wow!

We're less than 24 hours away from a brilliant night here in the heart of west London and the whole thing is still powerfully reverberating in our hearts. The more we think back on it, the wider our smiles. Almost 3000 university-aged young people amplifying the name of Jesus over this city was -- wow. I know, wow is not really and adjective, but sometimes you just have to step back and say, "You know what, I am a bit overwhelmed in this moment and all I can really say to sum things up is WOW!" When words fail, and trust me, they will for anyone who has been on the first leg of this tour (the post-Passion dilemma), you just have to smile and say -- wow. The pics are stunningly beautiful, but they can't quite do it justice. My words are meager, and even if I could write all night it wouldn't really matter. To fully grasp the moment you really have to stand in the room when those first big words of the opening video say "HELLO LONDON" and feel the entire atmosphere in the room change in an instant as individuals are melded into a massive collective and thousands of single hearts start beating as one. The Kingdom of God becomes more than a theological idea, and supernaturally something even greater than crowd dynamics transforms a moment and galvanizes faith. You know right then that there is a risen Savior and that He is constructing a community of Believers around the globe and empowering them by His Spirit to light up the world. London was bright last night, and as the last image portrays, a wave of His sons and daughters are trickling back into the city and the nation (the nations) carrying fresh vision in changed hearts. I know I am. For those of you around the world who are linked to this adventure, please know that you walked with us every step of the way and will go with us to Manila in coming weeks as we begin again. I'm guessing many of you, like me, are somewhat attached to the journey and wondering what you will do when the images and blogs stop. Well, for one, we will try to NOT have an abrupt ending...thus the post tonight! But in the end, we each have to turn our eyes to the circumstances God has placed us in and be the change we hope to see in the world.

London, we love you so much and will hold this night in our hearts forever!

PS-London, you gave $18,320 to help us do this in Manila on August 1. Again, wow.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Finally, London!

The wait is over! After many years of loving this city and really wanting to bring Passion to the students of London it finally happened! Passion London happened! And happen it did!

Some say London is the most influential city in the world at the moment, so it was a huge deal to be here right in the middle of it all with close to 3000 very "non-reserved" Brits as people from multiple streams came to unite around the fame of Jesus. From the opening it was on and we never looked back. Paris, we brought your prayers and the roar of your support...and Manila, London is on the record as being massively behind our visit there on August 1.

It's 1 AM here in London and things have been a bit of a blur the last few days. Though over used, the word WOW seems appropriate as we think about what we have seen God do from Kyiv to London. Just months ago this whole tour was a dream, and idea...a hopeful prayer. And now we are finishing the first Leg and heading for home. It's been a long time and many miles since we rolled out of ATL on May 12, and we have seen God do what we have been counting on Him to do.

I'll be back with more from London, but for now we are going to call it a night (one brilliant night!) and fill in more details later. And just in case you're wondering, your prayers ushered us into this city and through this night. For that we love you and humbly say thanks.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bonsoir Paris!

The heart of Paris.


I heard the line went around the block.

We brought the sign from Kampala.

Guess where they came from.

1400 we pray will turn into a multitude.

Former French Open champion Mary Pierce talks about Jesus.

I saw the light.

Passion Paris.

Once again, the thought we are carrying from a fabulous night in Paris is hope. In the end, just near 1,000 people were with us for a beautiful night. Granted, students are right in the midst of exams, but as we had been told all along, an event of this size would be the largest university gathering for Christ in this city. I can't tell you how grateful we feel to carry the story of rescue in Paris tonight. The church is alive here, and we pray what happened tonight fans the flame of passion for His name. Kampala, we played the video of you chanting "Pair-ees" and brought your sign all the way from Uganda. The students were blown away by that and started cheering like crazy.

There were so many highlights, but having MP with us was truly special. She's one of two French women to have won Roland Garros in the past forty years and is a national hero here. We met her through friends a few months ago and when she found out from Chris about Passion Paris she really wanted to come (she's injured, but here doing TV for the tournament). She never thought she'd share, but wow! Not only did the place go absolutely nuts when she came out, but her contagious love for Jesus just caused the whole night to erupt.

At the end I met a friend of the Blog and podcast (you'll hear her on it later) who is an Italian university student in Milan. Like most people there tonight, it was her first Passion, and the first time she has ever been able to worship with a room filled with students like her. Thank you, Paris, for making that happen!

Thanks to all of you who prayed for and with us. Now it's time for some of the Passion family (you guys reading this) to move into the neighborhoods of Paris and plant your lives for the cause of making the light of Jesus bright here. This city needs all the love and support we can give.

Paris, we love you and believe this little tribe we saw tonight will multiply into a mighty wave throughout this city and nation. With much love, Louie and the whole Passion Team.

"The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord, in its time I will do this swiftly." Isaiah 60:22

PS! Kampala, you gave $3842 US [6,147,200 Ugandan Shillings!!!] for Paris. Paris gave $4900 US for London and is praying! DSN in Paris = 230 Pairs of socks and 320 toothbrushes for the homeless of the City.