Urbana 2006 kicks off, 22,000 attend

By December 28, 2006

USA (MNN) — More than 22,000 people are in Saint Louis, Missouri for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Urbana ’06, the largest student missions event in North America. This year it’s being held at the Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center through December 31. The theme for this year’s convention is, “You Have A Calling.”

The convention got started last night with praise and worship and an message by the Director of Urbana ’06 Jim Tebbe. ” ”

President of InterVarsity USA Alec Hill is expecting good things this week. “Urbana has been, and we pray, will continue to be a water shed event for thousands of students who make life altering decisions here. If we can effectively present the case for global missions now, they will make life long commitments by going, giving and praying,” says Hill.

President of InterVarsity Canada Geri Robman says students from there are asking a lot of questions. “What do you want us to do different on our campuses that we might reach out to people that don’t know God and we’re willing to turn everything upside down to do it,” she says.

Tebbe says Urbana conducted a survey of all those attending the convention and the top responses were satisfying. “72-percent of the delegates indicated they have come to Urbana to seek God’s will for their lives,” Tebbe says. “49 to learn about missions. 43-percent to learn about what God is doing in the world.”

Tebbe is praying that the participants meet God here this week. “The event is going to blur into all sorts of other things that they’ve learned in life, but if they meet God here they will never forget that.”

The change of venue is allowing Urbana to expand the number of seminars offered. They’ll have sessions on marketplace missions, arts and media missions, urban ministry and HIV/AIDS ministry, just to name a few.

Today, more than 1,800 exhibitors and more than 270 mission organizations are here this week, making it the largest exhibition in Urbana history.

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