PASSION 2013 was amazing, but the schedule proved much more demanding that anticipated, so, apologies for no ongoing updates there. We enjoyed being able to connect with Koinonia and CrossQuest for the trip, and praise the Lord we didn’t have any major accidents with the vehicles. We did have to fly one student home early because of illness, but that was about the worst thing that happened. For more media from the trip check the MSSU Baptist Student Union website and Facebook pages. What you’ll find below are some immediate reactions to the conference from some of the students who went:
WES—What I got from passion this year was to not let anything interfere with God’s plan for you, and if I have any hindrance in the way just pray about it and let God help guide you in the Spirit. Basically don’t worry or fear, ‘cause fear is Satan’s tool but conviction is God’s. Turns you straight.
KASSIE—This week I really felt like God was tugging on my heart to get out there and share my faith with the people around me more. Another thing God was telling me this week was that I need to work on forgiving people who have done me wrong. I need to let go of some repressed anger.
GRETEL—This week God showed me His heart. He let me feel just an ounce of what He feels. Hearing the stories of slave and specifically [rescued slave] Rachel’s story. I felt the brokenness and compassion and rejoiced when I saw Him set the captives free. I want to show His love and compassion to those that are hurting and broken. I want to spread the love. I’m excited for that. Along with being bold and sharing my faith, He has laid upon my heart the necessity of maintaining an eternal perspective. What’s my life if it’s not reflecting Him?
MEREDITH—From the beginning of this trip I have been excepting God to move me in BIG ways! I knew there were things in my life that I needed to personally work on and He has come and “called me out” and He is expecting a change. We talked a lot about God’s faithfulness and His extraordinary plans for us. I have been so anxiety filled in my recent semester and after talking it out with my family group I know that I have no reasons to worry. God is using His mighty hands in my life and I need Him to take control in all ways.
TY—God has opened my eyes these days to show me where I need to trust Him more. I always struggle with wanting to control certain areas of my life and He showed me that I need to trust him more with my entire life and not just the parts I pick and choose. I know I need to trust Him more with the little things in my life too. He has also shown me that I need to spend more time each day in prayer and in His word because sometimes I get caught up in the things of life and find excuses to miss my time I need to spend with Him.
LOGAN—I went to Passion in hopes to relight the fire in me. I feel ever since my senior year in high school when I got mixed up in with a wrong crowd that my faith had kind of fallen. Now I feel a newfound strength and can’t wait to get back to home with it. I was also hoping to get some guidance because of me transferring to OCC. I have several big opportunities ahead of me and need to know if that’s what God wants for me.
STEPHEN—After going to Passion 2013 I realized what I wanted to change when I went back home. I want to work and ask God to fix the unbelief I still have left from my soul and to give me the strength to be able to embrace suffering.
CARL—After going to Passion 2013 I have realized that I need to work on embracing suffering and pray that the Lord would help me in my unbelief. I had lots of fun and learned a lot. I hope that the Lord would help me sustain the spiritual high that we’re all on.
ZACK—God has put a joy in my heart that is incredibly hard to explain. He has taught me to trust Him this week and has been faithful at helping me overcome my disbelief. [John] Piper spoke on setting your soul on eternity, and God has begun to help me embrace the promise of heaven. Although the devil may attack, I know my God is bigger and stronger than any idea the devil may have!
KRISTIN—God has laid on my heart several things during this week at Passion. He taught me the importance of community during Judah Smith’s sermon. God lives in community within Himself by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We should also live like this and not try to do everything by ourselves. The other thing that God has really laid on my heart is missions. I have thought for awhile that that is what I’m called to do but was questioning it. A girl told me today that I cannot have thoughts about going into missions without God putting those thoughts in my heart and mind. God moved in big ways this week and I’m excited to take them back to our campus. I also learned the importance of worship and prayer. In my own life, I need to pray more about decisions I need to make and that God will tell me the right decision. Worship is very important because God deserves all the praise. Blessed be the name of the LORD!
HANNAH—The lessons that I got from this week was, that God can use anyone in any situation for His glory. I knew this before but I actually believe it now. It’s not about us at all, it’s all about Him. Also we just need to trust Him because he really just wants the best for us. He’s not going to lead us astray. Trust Him and don’t worry about how things are going to work out.
DANIELLE—There was a moment during our family group time that put a strain on my life. I am normally a very quiet and closed off person when it comes to sharing personal information/experiences/problems with people. I have been hurt too many times by people who I thought cared about me. I felt God telling me to open up to my family group and just let things pour out. Everyone was so supportive and instantly asked if they could pray for me. I just felt this weight being lifted off my shoulders and it made me trust God even more. I know He provides all we need and places people in our life that will walk along side you. When we got to the main sessions even more things started to click so that God is revealing to me where He wants to use me further in His kingdom. I love how realistic and enlightening the speakers were, and easy to understand. I have noticed that the longer you are a Christian the more you tune out a little bit when talking about different stories, like the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. I loved that Beth Moore provided some much needed background info that shows you why thing were done. They all reflect back to God and the different words used to describe people/certain situations. Francis Chan gave me a new perspective on the Trinity in that they were the first community. With us being made in the image of God we too desire to have community. Small groups are a great way to share life with and be encouraged from. That is why I loved the idea of community groups and within that family groups. It is amazing when you can share things that are on your heart with complete strangers and grow so close in the little time that we had together (which wasn’t enough). I feel that God wants me to open up to people more so that maybe the things I have gone through will help someone else with the same problem and bring them closer to the Father. It is also strange that some things can make you empathetic where as others just completely break your heart and give you a renewed passion with something tangible that you can focus towards and follow closer to the path God set for your life. I cannot wait for next year and even what God will do in the meantime.
 Family groups are small groups of 8 or so students organized at the conference so they can process what they’re hearing. They typically do not know one another prior to the event.