Mexico City Mission Trip Part 5: Passion World Tour

Friday and Saturday found us at the original reason why we came 2,000 miles to Mexico City in the first place, the Passion tour stop. Back in April a group from our church attended Passion: Atlanta and decided then we would do everything in our power to make it to Passion: Mexico City as volunteers. So we started the process in May of connecting with the good folks at Passion and that evolved into partnering with En Foque to create a full blown mission experience.

Both days at Passion were very long. We'd get up by 6:30am to catch the metro to the arena and wouldn't get home until after midnight. On Friday we had no idea what our jobs would be, all we knew is that we'd be doing some kind of work with Passion.

Once there we found several other volunteers, most were local / nationals along with missionaries from En Foque and other surrounding mission organizations. A volunteer coordinator grabbed six of us NC guys and took us back to the dressing rooms and green room. Our job was to assist Louie Giglio's nieces in decorating. They would decided where stuff went (by stuff I mean couches, chairs, tables, lamps, etc.) and we would move it. After a little while they realized they had way to much help so they sent everyone else back except Jeremy and I. (We like to think they kept the strongest, smartest, and best looking). So for the next few hours Jeremy and I set up all the dressing rooms for Crowder, Tomlin, Giglio, Knockles, and Stanfill along with setting up a couple of "green rooms" (entertainment talk for a lounge) Once we were finished we tried our best to get a couple of all access badges, thinking that we wouldn't be back there again but to no avail. Luckily we were way wrong on what we'd be doing and we'd never need those badges.

Just before lunch they assigned our permanent jobs for the weekend. Our group consisted of 6 college age students and 6 old-timers (30+). The 6 college students were assigned to be ushers and greeters and the 6 oldies were assigned to ... SECURITY!! We were chosen to hang out at the dressing rooms to make sure no one without access got in. By far the coolest job we could have asked for. Since there was 6 of us we paired up and worked in 1 hour rotating shifts. We would watch the dressing rooms for a hour then have 2 hours off just to hang out backstage. Another added bonus of our job was stage control. When the doors opened, the 4 of us that weren't working the dressing room had to stand at the front of the stage to make sure no one got to close. During the entire weekend the six of us were either backstage or inches away from the speakers and worship leaders as they performed. It was awesome!!

Another great part of our job was all the cool people we got be meet that work with Passion either on a full time basis or volunteer at numerous Passion events. By the end of Saturday night we all felt like we were leaving people we had been friends with all our lives.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture my son Jacob (5 years old) had drawn of David Crowder. Jacob is a HUGE Crowder fan. He watches the "Remedy" DVD constantly and mimics every expression and movement with his toy guitar. When we are in the car all he wants to listen to is Crowder. Beth and I had decided that we would take Jacob's drawing with us just in case we might have a chance to meet David. Who knew that we'd be spending the whole weekend with him back stage. On Friday night Beth told him about Jacob and the picture and David said he'd love to have it. So on Saturday we presented David Crowder with the drawing of him through the eyes of a 5 year old fan. He and his wife loved it. In fact she even posted it on the official David Crowder band website. You can check it out here:

I'm not sure how to describe the worship experience at Passion. I've been to other Passion conferences before and to many heartfelt and powerful corporate (for lack of better term) worship services but nothing ever like this. I don't think it was anything David or Chris or Kristian or Louie said or did. I think it was all in the hearts and souls of the people who showed up. Everyone, almost 8,000 of them, showed up expecting to worship God. What a novel idea. You actually expect to encounter God versus just sitting there and being entertained. The energy and spirit in the building was more powerful then anything I have ever felt at any other christian event or church service in my life. From the moment the first note was played to the closing goodbye on Saturday night, those folks never stopped worshiping.

A couple of things stick out in my mind about the worship experience there:

1) Except for an occasional chorus converted from English to Spanish, all the songs were sung in English. And it never once hindered the worship. The crowd sang louder and with more passion then any other service I have ever been to in the states. Why can a culture where English isn't even the main language praise God more wholly then we can and we understand what we're singing and hearing? Because they "get it" and we don't. The few times a song was sung in Spanish the place went wild. Especially when Chris Tomlin sang "in Mexico" instead of "n this city"

2) The crowd would break out in chants like they were at a Mexican match in the World Cup. My favorite was a spontaneous chant of , "Cristo Vive!" or , "Jesus is alive!".

Here's a few pics of some friends we worshiped with and a great video glimpse of what it was like.


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