The seasons I have spent intentionally memorizing Scripture sustained me and shaped me in some profound ways as I sought to do good and honor Christ in Nicaragua, China, South Africa, and the United States.
Why go all the way to Urbana to study the Bible? Can’t I do that on my own? Well, yes, you certainly can. (Please do!) But you can experience so much more of the Word when joined with a diverse community of God’s people.
I was already committed to pursue a PhD in chemistry when I attended my first Urbana in 1996. I was an undergraduate student looking for wisdom and for ways to grow in my heart for missions as I entered graduate school.
Last week, while waiting for a plane, I accidentally overheard the phone conversation of a Muslim man sitting behind me. He was telling the person on the other end of the line how happy and excited he was that Ramadan was around the corner, starting today.
Elisabeth Elliot lived her life in service to God and his global mission. She lived responsive to God's call and echoed that call at the four Urbana Student Missions Conferences at which she spoke. She was 88 when her earthly life of obedience ended on June 15, 2015.
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?