With Urbana ’03 in the books, one mission group looks to the future.

By January 5, 2004

USA (MNN)–Mission agencies are seeing a bumper crop of college students eager to get to the mission field.

SIM’s Terrell Nelson says the students he’s met at Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana ’03 have been a diverse group, some who are just exploring the opportunities and others closer to being full time mission workers.

But, between the conflicting information and being overwhelmed by needs and the work to do, sometimes intimidation effectively stops the search. That’s why it’s so important, says Nelson, to tailor the message to them. “I gave two workshops while I was here; one was on stuff you need to know before you go. Basically it’s the four necessary steps, three important decisions and one bottom line commitment that people need to have before they can get involved in missions.”

What’s more exciting, Nelson adds is, “I found that these were very appropriate for some because they actually want to know ‘what are the steps, how do I get from where I’m in today to a cross-cultural ministry overseas that God’s prepared for me?'”

Nelson says students are also concerned about the role of the local church in sending missionaries, as well as overcoming the burden of student debt, which Nelson says isn’t all bad since it teaches about life and responsibility. 19-thousand students attended Urbana ’03.

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