One of the year's biggest youth evangelism events ended today when Passion 2012 closed its 4-day conference at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Louie Giglio, the movement's founder, urged the audience of 42,000 college students to advance the Gospel of Christ in all that they do.
"Can we just stick a pin in the balloon that says, 'What is God's will for your life?" Giglio asked the roaring crowd in the part-church-service, part-rock-concert gathering as part of his closing remarks. "You don't have to wait to participate fully in the plans and purposes of God. It's now that God can use you."
Giglio said he founded the Passion movement in 1995, convinced that an untapped audience for the Gospel lies in the world's college students. This year's speakers included Passion conference regulars Francis Chan, John Piper and Beth Moore. It also featured music from Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall and other prominent Christian musicians.
This year’s Passion conference goal was to raise $1 million to fight slavery and human trafficking, but students donated an astounding total of $3.1 million as of Thursday morning, instead.
"Freedom is ringing all across the world because of us and your generosity in this moment," Giglio said after the total was tallied. "Can we just give God praise and not a number praise? The holy spirit just recalibrated what can be done."
Passion 2012's large bounty was built on $2.6 million in donations from students and another $500,000 from a private donor. It will fund a variety of anti-human trafficking projects, Giglio said, including recovery programs for former sex slaves, border stations to halt human traffic in Nepal and a prevention program which will teach an estimated 48,000 Ukrainians about ending their region's underground slave trade.