This week, 44,000 college students gathered in Atlanta for Passion 2012. Fortunately, for those of us unable to be at the conference in person, the kind folks at Passion set up a livestream for the sessions and made them all available online for 24 hours after that. Yesterday I watched the first three sessions, and this morning I watched the fourth. I want to share with you something that Christine Caine (who founded the A21 Campaign with her husband, Nick) shared during the third session. Christine talked about our responsibility as the church to rise up and stand against injustice. She shared about compassion, and how compassion isn’t really compassion until you’re willing to be interrupted in the midst of your comfortable life for something so much greater. She interlaced her message with the Gospel, pointing out that Jesus rescued us from slavery to sin and darkness. She said, “We who have been rescued have a responsibility to rescue lost and broken people.” Then, she shared a story that blew me away and left me in tears.
A21 has a shelter in Thessaloniki, Greece. They’ve rescued many girls, and at one point, Christine was there with a group of 14 girls who had just been rescued. One of the girls shared her story with Christine, and then a girl from Russia asked Christine from across the room, “Why are you here?” Christine began to share what Jesus had done in her life and how He had a plan and a purpose for them. She told them that He could redeem them and make them new. The girl looked back at Christine and said, “If what you’re telling me about your God is true, then why didn’t you come sooner?”
Christine said that since then, those words have spurred her on every day. Why didn’t we come sooner? Why aren’t we there right now? Why is slavery still happening on our watch?
Today, January 4, 2012, gives us exactly
four one week until February 1 January 11. We have an opportunity to do something, to get involved, and say, “No more. This stops here.” Will you join me? Not just because this morning, 27 million people woke up in slavery, but because this morning, a Russian girl woke up in freedom thanks to people who were willing to bring light into the darkness no matter what the cost.
For more information about Passion’s freedom focus for Do Something Now, click here.
UPDATE 1/5/12-- What do you get when you combine 44,000 college students, the gospel, and the reality of human trafficking in the Georgia dome? Apparently, you get 3 Million Dollars. And this.