Wow! The day has come, Urbana 15 is here and I can’t believe it. I first heard about Urbana in late April/ early May right before the spring semester ended. The staff worker at my university explained to the chapter how Urbana changed the lives of many and we even had a few testimonies from our own students that had gone to Urbana 12. The staff worker talked about one of his main regrets from his pre IV staff days, and that was not going to Urbana while he was still in school. He ended the semester with an open invitation to our chapter to join him at Urbana 15 at the end of the year. We had plenty of time to discuss it with our parents and start fundraising. The rest was between us and God.
Initially, I wasn’t that interested in going and I found myself making excuses whenever someone asked me if I was planning to attend the conference. While enjoying the last few days of summer vacation, I saw an application that sought out student bloggers for Urbana. Without much intention, I applied not expecting to be picked. But folks, here I am today in St Louis. I don’t think there is a better way to say it but you and I were called to be here. God has a plan for us; our lives will be forever changed in the coming days. I can already start to imagine how incredible this week will be.
Many students had the opportunity to stay at home this week, finally catch up on sleep, binge watch our favorite television shows on Netflix, and get even more sleep; however, we opted to spend the next few days at the footsteps of the Almighty God and for that we are blessed. While we are here there will be many obstacles that the devil will throw at us. After talking to quite a few attendees I have come to the general consensus that the weather here is surely one of those obstacles.
Brothers and Sisters do not be dismayed by the weather here. You may not be accustomed to the cold weather, high humidity, and constant rainfall but see, it is a blessing. In my native tongue, Malayalam, we would call rain during events like weddings, and religious conferences “munmazha”. The word “munmazha” and “pinmazha” are usually used together in religious contexts, the literal translations respectively being close to rain before and rain after. The connotation of munmazha is rain showers before an event to signify that the event will be blessed or that blessings are coming. So in short the word is used for good luck.
With almost 16,000+ attendees all praying in one mind and accord, as one body to advance God’s kingdom here on Earth as in Heaven, there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is present and actively working with us this week. A good portion of today’s missionaries can trace their roots back to Urbana. I’m certain that after this year’s Urbana, many of the world’s issues will be solved by those whose lives were supernaturally impacted here this week. I want to encourage those of you that are physically present at the America’s Center this week to make the most of experience and attend as many events as possible. For those who weren’t able to make it, don’t worry, there is a livestream that can be found on the Urbana homepage. One thing we can all do, wherever we may be, is pray that God works #atUrbanaAsInHeaven.