International (MNN) — It’s been almost three years since the last Urbana conference which can only mean one thing: Urbana’09 is just around the corner.
More than 20,000 college students will gather together for international worship, teaching, prayer and fellowship at one of the largest missions conferences in the world this December.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s renowned Urbana conference has paved the way for hundreds of thousands to enter into the world of missions in the past, and it will be sure to deliver this year. Some even say that up to 80 percent of missionaries today trace their call to missions in some way, shape or form to an Urbana conference.
So what is Urbana? What makes it so special? InterVarsity’s York Moore, who will be speaking on human trafficking at Urbana’09, explains.
“Basically the goal at the conference is to educate each generation about what God is doing in the world of missions, and also to give a primarily-student audience the opportunity to hear the voices of non-western ministry leaders.”
Some of these voices will include Oscar Murui from Kenya, Patrick Fung from Singapore, and Shane Claiborne from the U.S. Students will hear from these and many other speakers on topics ranging from God’s heart for the environment to His heartache for the impoverished.
Besides listening to speakers, students will benefit from spiritual expositions and focused seminars. Representatives will be present from over 300 major missions organizations, working in over 150 different countries so students can get involved right away. There will also be opportunity to worship corporately with those from many tongues and nations.
Missions is clearly the theme of Urbana, but it’s important to note what that means in this case.“When people hear the word ‘missions,’ they typically have the classic foreign missions, 'I’m going to live amongst an indigenous people; [mindset],” says Moore. “That’s certainly the lion’s share of what we’ll address at Urbana, but InterVarsity is committed to being witnesses at every sector of society.”
Urbana is sponsored by InterVarsity, but students do not have to be involved with InterVarsity to go—in fact, most students that attend are not.
The conference will run from December 27 to 31 and costs $395 if students apply by October 17. Urbana may seem costly, but it only runs once every three years, making it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most college students.
“The kind of student who should choose to go to an Urbana really is that student who is very serious about a lifelong pursuit of Christ, whether that be in the secular marketplace, in the domestic mission field or the global mission field,” says Moore.
If you or someone you know fits that description, consider Urbana’09. Visit the Urbana'09 Web site to learn more about this life-changing opportunity.