Why I Still Wear My Wristband

Interview with Marilyn Garces

How did you hear about Urbana 12? Did you go with a student group, a church, etc.?

My church and my parents have always been big supporters of Urbana, so I knew that I wanted to go in 2012. I registered in July, even before I started my freshman year at Marquette.

I remember filling out a contact card for Marquette's Intervarsity chapter during New Student Outreach week, and when I told them that I had already registered for Urbana, I think that surprised them.

What did you learn at Urbana 12? (including things you learned from speakers, seminars, Bible studies, afternoon sessions, etc?)

I left Urbana 12, and I was ready to go. I would wake up early sometimes during Urbana to have a quiet time in the hotel lobby, and I remember praying, “God, I will go wherever you call me.”

But sometimes, the call isn't to go, but to stay. And in some ways, at Urbana I began to be burdened for missions where I am—right here, right now.

As a freshman especially, it would have been easy to live in the future, to believe that my commitments would begin after graduation. But I was determined, that wherever I was, I would be all there. And for now, that is at Marquette University.

The biggest takeaway I had from Urbana came from a simple quote by Calisto Odede: “If it's not good enough for local consumption, it's not good enough for export.”

At Urbana 12, and in the months since, God has transformed my vision of missions into something that is not just the places I go, but in the way I see and the way I love. Missions is now, it is near, and it's all for God.”

So why did you decided to keep wearing your Urbana 12 wristband? That's a big commitment!

For me, Urbana was a precious time of surrender. It was a time where I stepped back and said to God, "This life is not mine, but yours." He gave everything for me, for the world. I could think about that for hours and never truly grasp that kind of love. It's good for me to remember how costly his love was, especially when ministry is hard.

The Urbana wristband reminds me of my decision to surrender. It reminds me to love people, truly, the way I have known love. Honestly, though, I'm surprised it's stayed on as long as it has!

How has wearing your Urbana 12 wristband affected your life?

There are a lot of things I've forgotten since Urbana 12, but the wristband has helped me to remember the commitments I made. I told God that I would go wherever he asked me. For now, that means being wholly present on campus.

The wristband reminds me to say yes to God in all things, big and small. And saying yes to God has not been without cost. This year, saying yes has seemed to bring more sadness than I would have planned. But God is faithful, and he is good, and he is worthy.

Do you have any interesting stories or conversations as a result of the Urbana 12 wristband?

Ha! The Urbana wristband is kind of like a tattoo. It's a great conversation starter—although people are simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the fact that I'm still wearing it.

A bus driver asked me about it once, and when he learned that I was a Christian, he told me all about the church he pastors. I like how the wristband bridges people like that.


If your looking for a more durable option for an Urbana wristband you can purchase a leather one.




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