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Youth revival stirs students

Jan. 23, 1997

By Kristin Nelson

Lariat Staff Writer

'There's a wind blowin' all across the land' sang students as they gathered Tuesday morning in prayer for the University.

These words also began the Passion '97 conference in Austin at the beginning of January.

'There's a move of revival about to break here and it's really exciting,' said Robert Fuller, a Little Rock, Ark., junior and conference attendee.

Passion '97 was a four-day national conference attended by more than 2,300 college students at the Austin Convention Center early January.

According to organizers at CHOICE ministries in Roswell, Georgia, students came from all across the United States.

Passion '97 was first conceived a year ago by campus ministers Louis Giglio and Jeff Lewis.

Baylor's delegates to the conference numbered more than 200, according to group organizer Jennifer Eason, a Rocky Mount, N.C., senior.

Various conference attendees agreed that the focus of the conference was to bring a spiritual awakening to their campuses and glorify the name of Jesus.

The theme 'Jesus: Our Soul's Desire' appeared on banners and T-shirts throughout the week. The theme was taken from the scripture Isaiah 26:8.

Giglio said the two main things organizers hoped students would take from the conference were a renewed passion for Christ and an experience in meeting God.

'We wanted students to have a fresh vision for what God wants on their campus,' Giglio said.

Melissa Pruneda, a Waco, senior said she learned from what the speakers at the conference had to say.

'I liked what Dave Busby said about making God the passion of your life. He's not just a piece of the puzzle, he is the puzzle,' she said.

Students were challenged by Giglio to wear conference wrist bands throughout the month of January reminding them of the commitments they made under what was titled the 268 declaration.

The wrist bands also served as reminders to pray for Passion '98.

'The wrist bands are to proclaim that we are a part of the 268 generation,' Fuller said. 'We're not a generation marked with an X, but we stand for Christ instead.'

Conference attendees are now attempting to bring back to the University the spiritual fervor that Passion '97 stirred.

'It [the conference] invigorated students that went,' Fuller said. 'A fire was lit in Baylor students and it will go out if we don't mobilize ourselves in prayer.'

The complete effects of the conference have yet to be established, but attendees agree that revival is eminently possible if not already happening.

'Revival is already taking place on Baylor campus,' said Dudley Callison, leader of Touchstone Bible study. 'We've been praying for a downpour but it's just a slow pouring out of God's spirit.'

'Baylor is a unique place, but by and large it's a lot like every other university,' Giglio said. 'Students are searching for something to give their lives to. Believers at Baylor have a true God given desire to pray for those students that are lost.'

According to Passion organizers, the conference also aimed at unifying Christian ministries and denominations.

'Ministries at Baylor aren't hostile toward each other; they're just ignorant of one another,' Callison said. 'It's one thing to stand together in Austin, another to build relationship bridges that will build each other up.'

Students who gathered at the first post-Passion prayer group echoed Giglio's sentiments saying they didn't want the remnants of this to be just a wrist band and a T-shirt.'

Details on the possibility of Passion '98 are not yet available, but according to Giglio, CHOICE Ministries is close to a decision.

'We're waiting to hear from students, on their feelings about Passion '97,' said Giglio. CHOICE Ministries can be contacted at WWW.passionnow.org.

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