“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:10 will urge Christians at Urbana ‘03 to seek God’s will in our present world. At the InterVarsity Christian Fellowhip’s student mission convention, young adults from around the globe will discover how to live this theme verse. From Dec. 27-Jan. 1, individuals will be praising Christ at Urbana ‘03 on the campus of the University of Illinois.
While the conference will be a chilly venture over the holiday season, Director of Missions and Outreach Jill Erickson thinks that it will be worthwhile.
“We feel it’s important for students to attend,” said Erickson.
The timing is actually ideal, as students will not have to worry about missing studies. This means that thousands of students from around the world will be gathered to discuss God’s call to the mission field.
“Urbana will give me a bigger world view of missions worldwide and what God is doing,” said Lindsay Clay, admissions counselor and 2003 graduate of NW.
Clay, who plans to become a missionary in Thailand, is ecstatic about attending the conference for the first time this year.
One aspect of the convention that she is especially excited about are the seminars led by ministers and theologians from around the world.
“I want to be a thinking missionary,” said Clay. She is looking forward to gaining valuable insights and information from teachers such as John Stott because she believes they have the ability to think deeply and continually focus their thoughts on Christ.
Clay is also thrilled to have the opportunity to meet a diverse range of people. Individuals from a variety of cultures will share their views on worship and missions that young adults in the American midwest might not normally encounter.
Heidi Friesen, a senior who attended Urbana when it was last offered in 2000, explained that one-on-one and small group dialogue was one of the best aspects of the conference. She remembers talking to interesting people from other cultures that she would not have met under normal circumstances.
However she explained that while participants from different cultures have different viewpoints they all share the same love of Christ.
“You are able to converse with people who have the same passions,” said Friesen.
Another thing common to all cultures represented at Urbana is phenomenal worship. Friesen recounted that the multi-cultural praise experience was her favorite part of the entire conference. Worshiping with different styles in different tongues was an experience that united Christians as they expressed their love for God.
“Urbana is an intersection among people with a passion for living cross-cultural ministry,” said Friesen. Experiencing this passion for a few days enhanced and confirmed Friesen’s thoughts on her place in ministry.
Of course, Urbana is not just for people who have specific missions interests.
“It’s for anyone who just wants to be challenged about being a world Christian,” said Erickson. She feels that it is important for students to attend and “learn what God is doing in the world.”
To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to attend, NW helps students by offering free bus transportation to Urbana. The college will also give a limited number of $150 scholarships to those who turn in their applications to Center for Spiritual Formation and Vocation Suite 202 by noon today. Today is also the last day to receive an early registration discount. More detailed information and registration forms from InterVarsity can be found atwww.urbana.org.