Monday, July 20, 2009

Meet me in St. Louis

I made a comment on the other day on Facebook about URBANA'09 on which Janet Balasiri commented something like "I'll see you in St. Louis!" Janet, who is on staff with InterVarsiy (the event sponsors) has leadership responsibility for a portion of the event - a significant portion, if I might say so. (Having been a sponsor on a short term mission trip that Janet took with Faith Church to Barcelona and now having the privilege of seeing the ways that God is using her makes me proud in a way.) Anyhow, that comment made me think of this song:

It also made me think about how Faith Church is having an interesting impact on URBANA'09 this year (again) - probably one that is much deeper than I'm aware of, but still. There is Janet's leadership of the Poverty tracks. Then there is a little thing like Jim Tebbe's leadership of ALL OF URBANA. There are others who have been sent from Faith who are on staff with IV (including Don Fields, Larry and Debbie Lee, Mark and Dawn Slaughter). I'm suspecting that there are other Faith missionaries who will be representing their respective missions agencies at the event. Like me.

One of the things that is requiring a good bit of my attention during these hot days of summer is planning Wycliffe USA's strategy for URBANA'09. I'm not alone in this venture by any means and that is reason for gobs of gratitude.

On the URBANA09 website they have FAQs. For the first question (What is Urbana?" they offerr this answer:
Urbana is the missions conference for North American student hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA and Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. Urbana 09 will be our 22nd conference. The first "Urbana" was held in Toronto in 1946. From 1948 to 2003, the conference was held at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Since 2006, Urbana has been held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Generations of college students have come to Urbana to hear about cutting edge issues missions and respond to the call to participate in God's global mission. During the five days of Urbana participants will experience multicultural worship and drama, dynamic speakers, in-depth Bible study and prayer. They will also be encouraged to explore short-term and vocational opportunities as they interact with representatives from more than 300 mission agencies and educational institutions. Attendance at Urbana is usually around 20,000.
If I keep on this topic I may find myself singing It's A Small World next.

Before I do that, let me encourage you to consider praying for this event. It is not too soon to start doing that. I'm sure you could find inspiration for your praying on the URBANA'09 website -- or ask to be on Janet's or Tebbe's or my prayer update distributions (which ever of us you may know) as I suspect there will be specifics shared in those publications. Find out if any students you know are going and pray for them. There are loads of ways you could be directly and deeply involved through prayer.

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