Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Passion Conference World Tour - Vancouver

Jamie and I in our 'lovely' neon green Passion T-Shirts

So I've finally made it to Monday, the last day of my trip to Canada and the day of the Passion Conference.

Jamie and I arrived at the GM Place around 9am. They only had a few of us volunteers arrive there at that time in the morning because they didn't have a lot that needed to be done in the morning- we asked to be able to come in early because, after all, we were in Vancouver for the purpose of serving at the conference, so we wanted to spend as much time there as possible.

We immediately met several other volunteers all of whom live in the Vancouver area and a couple of which were local Pastors. It was interesting talking to them because they really gave us some insight on Vancouver. Vancouver is a very liberal city and faith is not something that is overly 'popular' I guess you could say. Every person who I met who lives in Vancouver described it as a 'dark' city, in that it's spiritually lacking in a huge way. Our first task was to fold up t-shirts to be sold to the students and thanks to one of the other volunteers, I learned the 2-second t-shirt fold technique (you too can learn it if you go to YouTube :-) I really could have used that technique when working for Disney. We helped with other small tasks throughout the day and we took sometime to go down into the stadium seats to pray for the conference and the students who would be attending that evening.

This is the GM Place:

Back of one of the t-shirts we were folding (there we are!):

Finally it was time for the students to start arriving (heck, some of them had started arriving around noon to line up),

so we got ourselves set up and I was working the registration area which meant that I had to be standing outside and it was SO cold. I was out there for about 1 1/2 hours and it finally got to the point where I was in physical pain because of the cold... my toes, hands and nose all felt numb! I was finally able to go back inside and found out that Jamie was dealing with the opposite problem... she was assigned to seat the 'special guests', so she was having to run up and down the stairs and from backstage to front of the house and she was overly warm. But, we were able to successfully get all of the students settled in their seats and ready for it to begin. I didn't spend as much time, as I did in the past, actually watching the conference...but, I was completely fine with that...I had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful volunteers; and, don't get me wrong... I did get myself into the conference for a bit of Louie's talk and also for several of the worship music sets. I think one of the things that struck me was, when they were singing 'God of This City', the students went crazy! I mean, you could just tell how much that song meant to them. Being that they live in a spiritually dark city, to sing that song, declaring that they know 'greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city.' you could tell that it meant so much to them and that they really took that song to heart. The other moment, during the worship music, that really stands out to me was when they were singing the last song "Sing Sing Sing"... the students went CR-A-ZY!!! From where I was positioned in the GM Place, I had a great view of the entire place and there was just a sea of students jumping up and down and all over the place- they got into that song more than any other conference I've ever been to. Really amazing to see students just losing all inhibitions and just celebrating their faith with all that they have.

OH!!! Also, Mike, one of the volunteers we went to dinner with the previous night...he brought a sign that read "God Bless You Seoul" (the next stop for the conference). They put the camera on him and there's a picture of it on the 268Generation website. He was SO excited!

At the end of the conference, the students filed out really quickly (which could have been 'thanks' to the security guards 'strongly encouraging' everyone to leave...another story). We were able to get things cleaned up quickly and I met up with Jamie backstage and it was really cool because Mike had been invited backstage, so he had a chance to meet Louie and the worship leaders...you could tell that he was having a great night!

Thus, ended our night and our stay in Vancouver :-( Got up super early the following morning, had an uneventful drive back to Seattle (no stop at the border this time) and were at the airport in plenty of time to grab one last Starbucks drink and muffin before we all had to say bye.

This trip was such a blessing in so many ways... seeing a new country, meeting so many wonderful people, being able to relax, getting to know Jamie better (a bit scary how alike we are in some ways), and of course, another opportunity to serve with the Passion team is always thrilling for me.

Well, I think that I about covered it! Hope you enjoyed reading about it :-)


Sara Warren said...

Is Jamie the one you met at the last conference? If so, that's cool that you guys met up!

Julie said...

Yep... Jamie and I met at the Atlanta conference last April.