Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and please excuse my lack of blogging. The past month has been absolutely packed full of wonderful events. I’m now back in the UK, it is a new year, and I am so ready to see what God has in store for England in 2013.
Before I headed back to the U.S. for Christmas, I got to take a slight detour to London with my best friend. We had this great idea that we wanted to see the city at Christmastime, and the fact that we actually got to go was amazing. From experience, I can tell you that it is impossible to see all of London in a day and a half, but we hit the high points and had an amazing time.
So after that short adventure, we headed back to Georgia! It was so good to see my family after four months away. The only way I can describe it to people is this: I feel like I have been living two different lives, and that one has just been on pause since I left. I came home in the midst of Christmas madness, and I was running around like crazy trying to see people and buy gifts and everything else. All of my friends were home from college on break, and I was so excited to see them. You know you have true friends when you can go four months without seeing each other, and when you finally do, its like no time at all has passed. It was so good to have a few weeks to relax and catch up with everyone.
My Christmas was great. I got more gifts than I needed, but I’m so thankful to have so many people that care about me. I don’t know if it is living in England, or just a new understanding, but I just realize how unnecessary all the “stuff” is. Some people are so content with so little. It breaks my heart how everyone is obsessed with what they are getting and giving at Christmas. I won’t deny that I never feel like that, but I just want to re-evaluate my priorities here. Being home with my family was enough for me this holiday season.
I couldn’t think of a better way to start 2013 than the Passion Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. We’re talking about 60,000 college students coming together to worship our indescribable Creator. I can’t put it into words. I got to experience some amazing speakers and worship leaders that poured into us and brought me so much closer to God. After teaching and leading kids here for four straight months, that is exactly what I needed. After worshipping with a stadium full of people, we get into community groups with seven other people. I’m amazed at the people that God hand-picked to be in my group. We bonded instantly and opened up to each other so well. A few of us have hearts on fire for missions, and it is so cool to hear other people’s stories and ideas. I was so blessed to have this experience before heading back to the UK.
Throughout the conference, Passion was working to raise money and awareness for human trafficking and slavery. Did you know that right now, there are over twenty-seven million slaves in the world. That’s more than any other time in history. That’s men, women, and children around the world forced into unimaginable situations where they are sold like property and forced to work against their will. If you would like to know more, I seriously encourage you to check out enditmovement.com and help us be the generation to make a change for these people.
This picture is 60,000 college kids holding candles, shining a light on modern slavery. We’re in it to end it, and just during that conference, we raised over $3 million to fight and prevent slavery around the world.
After Passion, I said goodbye to the States for seven months. I plan to come back at the end of July when school ends here, and start at UGA in the fall. But for now, I am back, and more ready than ever to see lives changed in the Tees Valley. I have built some amazing relationships in my time here, but I am ready to see young people committing their lives to Christ. I ask that you continue to pray that I can be a light and that God will use me in whatever way He sees fit. My team got to attend the national Youth for Christ conference in Coventry last week. It is really encouraging to see how God is using people all across the country to shine for Him.
We’re calling for revival in this place.