I feel so privileged to have been there. I went to my first Passion event in Ft. Worth in 1999. I've been taking students ever since. The music, the worship, the speaking...the movement... has been as much a part of my life over the last (nearly) 10 years as it has for the students it was intended for.
I knew instantly- the first time I heard there would be a "World Tour" and that Ukraine would be a part of it, that I wanted to be there. I'm so fortunate to have been able to work my trip around tonight.
I spoke with my Ukrainian friend Oleg Vasilevsky (who translated for Louie tonight) a few weeks ago and he correctly guessed there would be perhaps 4000 in attendance. As recently as just a few days ago on the Passion Blog, Louie admitted there was no way to know...it could be a 100, or a 1000 or more. Earlier today, one of the "crew" told me he was hoping for at least 2000 to make it feel like there was something of a crowd. It was apparent right at 6:00 pm when the doors opened that there would be that many and more. With each stop of the nearby Metro-Subway, a new wave of students entered the square in front of the Sports Palace. They kept coming well after the worship began at 7:00 pm.
I wish I could report in detail about what happened inside the palace tonight. Alas, I missed most of it. My job for the day was Security. I rotated with about 8 other guys (all Ukrainian students I think) watching one of the Stage Doors and the Entrance to the Green Room. I opted to spend most of my time on Guard Duty to allow those guys to be a part of the worship experience.
I can't complain though. I spent the whole day watching the Passion Staff - Louie and his wife Shelley, Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall and Matt Redman as they went back and forth. I met guys and gals from all over the country that were spending their vacations to do what I was doing...to just simply serve and facilitate this event. I met missionaries and students. I got a cool t-shirt. It was a great day.
I even got to visit with my friends from Birmingham- Randy Hall and his daughter Madison. They were traveling with a group of students from Lugansk... some of which I met back in April when I visited there.
Super Amazing Day for Kiev. I overheard one of the Ukrainian Stage Hands saying that there's never been anything like this in Kiev. I bet there's never been anything like it in any former Soviet country. And this much I'm sure of...it was a great crowd...but it wasn't all the people Jesus has in this city. It was just a sampling.
I "heard" the highlight of the night was probably the closing song- God of this City- when the crowd sang the chorus in Russian. It's a prayer and it's so true: Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city. The movement got a boost tonight. I have a feeling some of those kids will never, ever be the same again.