If you’re taking your place in God’s mission (or considering it), getting yourself to Urbana 15 is one of the best investments you can make. But if you can’t wait a few more months (or if you’re looking for resources once Urbana 15 has concluded), you should really know about these websites:
The Joshua Project is one of the Frontier Ventures family of ministries and is a pretty stellar way to get familiar with people groups who have yet to hear the Good News.
Open Doors is a non-profit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries. Because, as the site says, “The number one thing that persecuted Christians ask for is prayer,” they’ve compiled some excellent resources to help you pray. They also have fantastic helps for being an advocate for the persecuted church.
Operation World is the website version of the “definitive guide to global prayer” by the same name. It’s not near as comprehensive as the book, or its more user friendly sister Pray for the World, but if you’re just beginning to pray for the world, the pared down approach might be an asset. Includes prayer guides for all countries and regions.
Mission Data International will actually connect you with 4 web resources: Preparing to Go, ShortTermMissions.com, their quarterly publication Propel and a comprehensive Q&A called Ask a Missionary.
The UN Refugee Agency, aka The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is a great tool to familiarize yourself with the cause of the refugee. The post Good News for the Displaced contains a link to the statistical data from this site regarding Syrian refugees.
Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions is an accrediting and resourcing body. If you send, receive, facilitate or support short-term mission (STM) endeavors, you’ll want to consider joining. If you’re anyone else, become familiar with their 7 Standards.
Scott Bessenecker’s The Least of These blog posts are all available here, but of late, Scott has been blogging at Overturning Tables, a site “dedicated to handing the microphone over to people who are often excluded from society’s center.”
And of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the very site you’re on now. Brace yourselves! Here comes the mention: urbana.org is here to prepare you, educate you, and help you grow, connect, and debrief Urbana 15 when the conference concludes.