Ten-year-old Elka watched from his hiding place as Mafolio called on the all-powerful and capricious Kworokyam to heal his stepfather. Elka was fascinated by Mafolio’s rituals, and soon after began to sing the songs he had heard which had stuck in his mind. The spirit world drew him in.
Malaysia Anderson was surprised to see herself up on the big screen in front of 15,000 people on the final night of Urbana 09. Just five days earlier, Malaysia had been praying that God would reveal his will for her life as she arrived in St. Louis for Urbana...
As Christopher Wright says in The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative, “The writings that now comprise our Bible are the product of and witness to the ultimate mission of God.” The Bible is the revelation of God’s mission. But it is also the primary tool of missions.
I’ve gone to Mexico, Ethiopia, China, Nicaragua, South Africa, Lebanon, and Thailand for trips of a few days to a few years. I’ve tried a lot of different approaches, but here’s what I now bring when I’m crossing an ocean.
Over a hundred years ago, George Pentecost said, “To the pastor belongs the privilege and responsibility of the missionary problem.” It is the responsibility and privilege of pastors to feel the weight of the nations and to fan a flame for the global glory of God in every local church.
I’ve been able to make photographs on the streets of Hong Kong, Dubai, Thailand, and Lebanon this year. I am a photographer, and I love it. But I know all too often the process of taking pictures can inhibit communication and relationships (and thus ministry). Here are some things to think about as you enter another culture and want to take photographs.
We do Urbana because there is a need for Urbana. As we look around the world, there is urgency in challenging this generation to engage globally, to grasp biblical foundations of mission, and to discern vocational calling in the midst of the world’s needs.
While a student at University of California, Davis, Maureen Hodge had done InterVarsity summer missions trips in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Mexico, working with kids in poor areas of those cities. But it was a miscarriage and a cancer diagnosis that got her to Honduras.
But, my guess (and I’m no mind reader here), is that your biggest question is regarding God’s will for your life. Good news: we’ve got a whole section on this site about that! Here are my favorite posts:
The God made known in Scripture and incarnate in Jesus Christ desires flourishing people in a flourishing world. This is God’s intent and commitment and God created humans to flourish by collaborating with him in that endeavor.
1. The ability to discern God's will comes from being transformed. As Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
When Tom entered Harvard University in 1991, his plans for a lucrative career in corporate law were as stable and secure as his parents had always dreamed. Not surprisingly, he excelled. Then, slowly, Tom started to realize what he wanted.
Evangelism is much more important than working for justice. Souls are eternal. There’s no hope for change without Christ. This world is going to burn. Justice work trumps evangelism. Hungry people can’t hear the gospel. Christ fought against oppression. Evangelism is a form of cultural neocolonialism. What if it’s both?
“I don’t think I’d ever thought about a poor person.” As a senior from the University of Illinois at Urbana 96, Marie Koch sat in the auditorium spellbound by the short video on the screen about the poor. “It was haunting,” she said.
Since the civil war began in 2012, 3.9 million Syrians have fled their homes. They join the ranks of over 50 million refugees worldwide. Matthew’s Gospel, the text from which Urbana 15 is designed, was written for believers facing similar challenges.
Registration for Urbana 15 is open. But you’re not registered. What’s holding you back? It might be something you can't quite name. Several years ago, my wife and I devised a wonderful plan for our future. A plan we felt was God’s plan.
Through their excruciating pain, through the weight of their trauma, they don’t resent the call to suffer that God has put upon their shoulders but rather welcome it. They celebrate it, and they feel honored by it. These refugees are indeed proudly part of the “nation of the cross.”