USA (MNN) — Figuring out what you want to do with your life can be a difficult choice. But, for the last five days, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship‘s Urbana 15 has been helping 16,000 students from all across America figure out their next step.
The student mission conference wrapped up with participants ringing in the New Year together, but it doesn’t mean the lessons learned will be left behind.
The event, which takes place every three years, assembles mission organizations and speakers to inspire and give advice on options for serving Christ and fulfilling the Great Commission.
This year saw over 250 exhibitors and 180 speakers offer much-needed answers anywhere from picking a college to attend, to picking an occupation.
“When I first got there, it was pretty overwhelming. There were a lot of people there. I was only expecting a few thousand people and it turned out to be 16,000 people, which was great because it was an experience to be able to worship and learn along 16,000 other people,”says Will Lipscombe, a high school senior from Spring Lake, Michigan who attended the event after hearing about it from friends who’d been to it in the past. He described the experience as ‘incredible’ and noted that ‘there was something constantly going on’.
In the past, Lipscombe served on the mission field for two summers in Costa Rica. He hoped to use Urbana as a way to find answers on where to go next.
“I do believe Urbana has been a good learning experience of whether I want to go into the mission field or not.” He explains that if he does end up going back into the mission field, it will be in Costa Rica because that’s where his heart is. “I’ve talked to a few of the exhibitors in the exhibitor hall, and I like some of the options of where I can go.”
With all the events and people to talk to crammed in a 5-day period, it’s hard to think about which was the favorite. Lipscombe says the event that stood out to him most was when he and other students learned about and prayed for the persecuted church.
“I knew that there was persecution going on, but the speakers that came up and explained what had happened to them because they brought in people who were persecuted, interrogated in other countries, and beaten because of their faith. It really opened my eyes to how serious of a thing it was. And then, to be able to pray for those people, it was cool to be able to do that.”
As students re-adapt to their everyday lives, pray that they will remember the lessons and advice they’ve been given at Urbana. Pray that they will trust God and be guiding lights wherever they go.