Bryson Vogeltanz is the Pastor of Global Engagement for Passion City Church. Bryson and his wife, Emily, and their three children live in Atlanta, GA.
Plywood People: What is 72 Days For Freedom?
Bryson Vogeltanz: 72 Days For Freedom is a call to action. For 72 days (February 27-May 8 ) Passion City Church is putting slavery front and center and calling everyone, everywhere to action. There are more than 27 million slaves in the world today and we want to help bring rescue and restoration to those men, women and children held captive. Whether you are a group or individual our hope is that 72 Days would inspire people to take action against this evil that is happening right here in our cities and in every corner of the world.
Plywood People: Can you share what Passion has been able to do to help fight this issue around the world?
Bryson: During the days of Passion 2012 (January 2-5, 2012) 40,000+ college age students rallied together and gave more than $3.3 million dollars to fight modern day slavery. With that money we were able to fund more than 19 causes around the globe bringing prevention, rescue, and restoration. The money funded everything from rescue operations in India, prevention programs in Ukraine, border patrol stations and safe houses in Nepal, to restoration for women in Atlanta (a complete list of funded causes can be found HERE).
Beyond the financial impact, Passion has been able to use our voice to awaken and inspire people to leverage their lives for worship and justice. We have been able to challenge young people to think outside the box, outside themselves, and to use their lives, talents, and treasures to bring glory to Jesus by loving, serving, and generously giving to those in need.
Plywood People: When did you first connect with the issue of modern slavery? How did it motivate you to do something about it?
Bryson: In years past Passion’s Do Something Now campaign was focused on a broader range of social justice issues around the globe from the clean water crisis to medical care to micro-finance, but as we leaned in to Passion 2012 our team felt an overwhelming calling to zero in on the issue of modern day slavery. The Spirit moved us and we were obedient. Over and over we have felt affirmation that for this season we are meant to focus on the issue of slavery and challenge people to rise up and become modern day abolitionist. On this journey we have met and worked with amazing men and women who have given their entire lives to fighting for the cause of freedom and it has been an honor to learn from and work alongside them. We’ve also become friends with men, women, and children who have lived through the horrors of slavery. Hearing their stories and looking in their eyes fuels us to continue making this issue a priority.
Plywood People: Can you share about the art installation and what it means to you?
Bryson: The Freedom Sculpture is a symbol to the city of Atlanta and to the world that slavery still exists but together we can help set the captives free. What I love about the sculpture is that it uses reclaimed broken, used, and worn items we use everyday and turns them into something beautiful. In the same way we are standing up for men, women and children who are seen by much of the world as broken, useless, and worn but through rescue and restoration they begin to see themselves as beautiful, valuable, and treasured by God. The sculpture is a beautiful symbol of hope yet a powerful visual reminder that we all have been touched by slavery.
Plywood People: What can others do to be involved in this in their city?
Bryson: We are challenging everyone to do 5 simple steps (HERE):
Sign the petition, give to the causes, host a viewing of an original film – Freedom: Indifference is Not an Option, Pray, and do more.
But really, the options are endless. Rally together, make a plan, and take action! On the website we have also listed numerous resources to get people started, including a list of 72 ways to take action, but at the end of the day our challenge to people is to figure out what they are good at and then use that to bring awareness and action to fight modern day slavery. Check out the resources we provide on the website then jump in with both feet and start making changes!
Learn more about how you can address this issue.
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