Evangelical Youth Stir Passion to End Modern Slavery

Passion conference
Armed with smart phones, credit cards, and IPads, the students donated $3,327,658 before the three-day conference ended. Passion has also partnered with 19 organizations on the ground around the world. (CBN)

Students from across the country are united in a fight to end human trafficking around the world. They're now shining a light on modern-day slavery on college campuses in all 50 states and more than 50 countries.

For many, this mission began with the new year at Passion 2013, an annual conference for young Christians that gets larger each year.

Evangelical Pastor Louie Giglio led the conference, which drew 60,000 students to Atlanta's Georgia Dome. The young army of believers came from all 50 states and 54 countries.

Thomas Brown, a youth pastor from Dallas, Texas, drove 12 and half hours to bring 19 high school seniors.

"There is no other place that you join us with 60,000 other college students and just lift up the name of Jesus and just shake an entire Georgia Dome, literally. Just by jumping up and down," said Thomas, who attended several Passion Conferences when he was a student.

Like thousands of others, Thomas' students came with towels and socks for Atlanta's homeless shelters. The conference collected enough to give a year's supply to several cities.

"What's different about this generation is this generation believes they can change the world," Bryson Vogeltanz, one of the leaders of Passion 2013, said.

"They really do. But they also know what Scripture says in Matthew 26, that with man it is impossible. But with God all things are possible," he added.

Vogeltanz is leading the young people in what many would call an impossible mission. It's a campaign called "End it Now." The goal is to end modern day slavery.

"We believe this. We believe Jesus was the original abolitionist. He was the first one," Vogeltanz said, describing the project to CBN News.

"And these students, they don't love modern day slavery. They don't love causes. They don't love social justice. They love Jesus," he said. "They want to follow Jesus and they want to do what Jesus is calling them to do."

Armed with smart phones, credit cards, and IPads, the students donated $3,327,658 before the three-day conference ended. Passion has also partnered with 19 organizations on the ground around the world.

Students say they are prepared to bring an end to the dark world of slavery.

"I think we can," Paige Brown, who attended the conference, said. "I definitely believe it. And I believe it even more because God can do big things. And I think this is a generation that is really going to rise up and seek the Lord."

Vogeltanz travels the world to take an up-close look at the problem and to monitor how Passion's funds are being used.

"We are talking about 27 million men, women and children, oppressed, trapped, raped for profit. Working in the worst of the worst conditions and not getting paid," he said, describing the plight of the victims.

"That is happening that is real. It is a $32 billion industry," he continued. "All 27 million slaves were created by God not to be oppressed but to live in freedom. And that is what these students care about."

Freedom is also what 60,000 students gathered to prayed about before leaving Passion 2013. They lit candles and vowed to shine a light on the dark world of slavery as they returned home.

They also prayed for patience to see this mission to completion.

"One of the biggest issues of our generation is we are a how can this be solved now," College student Culby Hinson told CBN News. "And the Lord works on His time. And He is perfect in everything that he's got, perfect in His plan."

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