ATLANTA – The 22,000 students that attended the Passion 2011 conference were the most generous in the history of the event.
University-age students, known for regularly joking about being broke, collectively donated $1.1 million, far exceeding the $500,000 goal as well as the $668,000 total for Passion 2010. Students donated specifically to nine global aid projects through Passion's Do Something Now campaign, which seeks to teach young adults to exchange self-centered lives for God-centered ones that focus on the needy.
"Together, we are a force for good, making a massive difference in the lives of people around the globe in Jesus' name," states the Passion vision for the Do Something Now campaign. "At the core of it all is a desire to wed worship and justice, believing that what God wants most is not just another song, but a reflection of His love and mercy among the poor, the imprisoned, the voiceless and the oppressed." more >>
ATLANTA – Attendees of the Passion conference on Sunday heard about and watched a video of founder Louie Giglio traveling to Haiti to meet a family that survived the earthquake that destroyed their home and killed two family members. What the crowd did not expect was to see Ernest Leo and his 7-year-old daughter, Therissa, walk out on stage.
The surprise was palpable as an arena-wide gasp occurred, which was quickly followed by applause.
Giglio declared that the Passion movement “will be anything God wants us to be for them (the Leos).” He called on the 22,000 students at the Passion conference to donate $1 each that night to a college trust fund for Therissa so attendees can experience how collectively the church can be a force for good in the world. more >>
Looking back, the year 2010 was a year of pain, surprises, and your fair share of debates. The Christian Post draws your attention back to some of the top issues and events that marked the year:
1. Debate over the approval of a massive Islamic cultural center near New York City's ground zero
The decision in May by a New York community board to give the green light to the construction of Park51, an Islamic cultural center that includes a mosque, near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, left many Americans hurt and angered. more >>
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the top religion newsmaker of 2010, say USA Today readers.
In a poll featured in USA Today’s Religion and Reason blog, readers selected the Tea Party leader as the top religious newsmaker out of six other choices. Palin, who spent most of the year campaigning for GOP candidates such as Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, received 26 percent of the vote. The poll’s results upset Religion Newswriters Association’s pick for newsmaker of the year – Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf.
Rauf, who is the force behind the effort to build an Islamic center blocks from New York City’s Ground Zero, tied for second place with Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict spent most of the year trying to dissolve troubles stemming from molestation charges against Catholic priests. Both religious leaders took 23 percent of the vote. more >>
A TV special that began airing online Monday follows award-winning Christian music artists Matthew West and BarlowGirl to Latin America where they participate in an Operation Christmas Child program for needy children.
West and BarlowGirl go to Colombia and Belize, respectively, to distribute shoe boxes and see how a thoughtful gift can be used to help a child begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. The program focuses on a Bible study program, developed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The program is used to disciple children who receive a shoe box filled with gifts through the Samaritan’s Purse program Operation Christmas Child.
“We want to disciple every child that gets a box, every child that makes a decision for Jesus Christ,” says Franklin Graham, president and CEO of both BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse, in the program. more >>
Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January has turned the world’s attention to the poverty-stricken country and its myriad of problems. But a small village up in the mountainous region of Haiti offers hope for the troubled country to experience remarkable transformation spiritually and economically.
Willem Charles, the founder and leader of Mountain Top Ministries (MTM), has dared to challenge voodoo and the status quo. In the process, he has built schools, a medical clinic, a water line system, a church, and homes for residents of Gramothe village, about an hour drive from Port-au-Prince.
Ten years ago, there was no church; only five voodoo temples. There was also no school, no clean water, barely any jobs, and no hope in the village. more >>