Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Urbana 09: Movements of Peoples, DAY 2

I still have pretty bad jet lag. I am waking up at 5am every morning, and am sure that is long before most college students are waking here!! Nevertheless, it gives me some time to reflect and think about my time here and how God is "dwelling among us".

Day 2:
The delegates at the conference sure do like our booth, our staff, and the handouts we are giving away for those who join our facebook fan page. We have added about 300 people to our fan page in 2 days...much higher numbers than we had expected coming in to the event at this point. Today I spoke with a young lady who wants to be a nurse in Uganda. It was a great conversation and took me back to the days when I was 18 and filled with hope, excitement, anxiety, fear, and every other emotion that naturally comes with missions. Laying down your life to serve the Lord in a foreign country is perhaps one of the hardest decisions any person can make in their lives...yet it is the most rewarding. Having been on both sides now, I am now tasked with helping nurture and counsel these young lives in this truth. You give up much, you get more! Its the Kingdom of God after all, and we all know that the Kingdom works on the same paradigm.

The theme for day 2 was "movement of peoples", which consisted of absolutely riveting talks from Ruth Padilla DeBorst and R. York Moore. I found myself getting choked up with tears as they described the world of immigration, sex trade, slave trade, etc. and how the gospel of Jesus confronts those issues. DeBorst made passionate claims for a complete and comprehensive understanding of God's children, that transcends nationality and ethnicity. "Love doesn't reach from afar, its incarnational," Deborst exclaimed. I am hoping InterVarsity puts her speech online...the whole thing was magnificent and moving. Moore was equally as passionate and compelling in speaking on slave trade. I remember saying he was born again..again, as he learned that salvation is much more than saving souls, its about saving the world. This sentiment was greeted by wild applause from the 16,000 gathered.

Today was moving for me. As a Follower of Christ dedicated to issues of social (in)justice, Day 2 focused on big issues surrounding our world in the 21st century. And missions plays perhaps the biggest role in this. The evening concluded with a powerful skit in which the prostitute Rahab was used for God's purposes and spared as she cried out for mercy.....God is reconciling the world. He is reconciling movements of peoples. Time to join in.

Pictures: The Urbana 09 theme,
Me and other WHM staff working our booth

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