North America (MNN) — If you want to be challenged this winter break, check out Urbana '09 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri this December. The 22nd student missions conference with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will be held in the USA December 27-31, 2009.
Designed to be a multi-ethnic and multi-national experience, attendees will have an opportunity to worship with thousands and learn about global missions from gifted leaders. "The goal is to present each generation of students with the Biblical basis for mission," said Urbana's Communication Director, Christie Chappell, "and also to invite participants into missions and ask them to consider what God is calling them to personally."
Participants in Urbana '09 will be able to gather with other missions-minded youth to learn about God's call to missions and explore how their abilities can be applied to the mission field. Bible studies held in the morning will explore the book of John, and international speakers will share their experiences in the field at morning and evening plenary sessions.
Afternoon sessions and seminars give attendees the chance to explore a wide variety of topics, ranging from a general overview to specific areas of interest, called "majors." Some of the majors offered at Urbana '09 will include "World Religions", "The Mission of Healthcare," and "Heart & Soul in Mission." For a full list of seminars, click here.
In 1946, the first Urbana convention was held in Toronto. Over 500 students from 151 schools across Canada and the United States gathered to explore God's call to world evangelization. Since then, God has challenged more than 200,000 believers through Urbana to world missions.
According to Chappell, this call continues. "Our staff travels around the world, and pretty much everywhere they go, they hear stories from people who are in missions. Some went to Urbana as a student or as a recent graduate, and their mind was completely opened up..to what God was doing at Urbana and what He might be calling them to."
Many doors to the world of mission work were opened at Urbana, Chappell adds. "We hear from so many mission agencies that the Urbana experience has been a catalyst for missionary candidates, over and over again, prompting them to seek out what they may do and how they may serve worldwide."
Click here for more details about Urbana '09, or to register or volunteer for the event.