Missions Stories

Johanna Linschoten glanced out the window at the lanes of cars racing past her. Every few miles, massive billboards and signs crowded the edges of the interstate. Beyond them was a wall of trees, sunlight glinting off the neon-green leaves. She found herself wishing for a glimpse of the ocean and its white sandy beaches—only a 15-minute trip away no matter where she was back home in Hawaii. But the ocean, like home, was a long, long ways away.

God, they’re gonna rip me apart. This is career suicide, Peter (pseudonym) thought.

Just obey me. Share.

Peter had been enjoying the business track at Urbana 12. The speakers had decades of experience, and he’d encountered a robust, new theology of work.

But then he started feeling convicted to share his faith with his co-workers. “They’re very hostile toward religion. I was like there’s no way I can share. I was a wreck,” Peter remembered.

The first day back at work he had a lump in his throat no amount of coffee could wash away.

In 2009 Claudia’s InterVarsity staff member encouraged her to attend Urbana. "Urbana was a switch for me," Claudia said. "It made me realize that not only do I want to missionary work in the inner city in my home, but eventually I want to work overseas."

Three years ago, Anthea had a dream where God called her into missions. This past fall, she came to the United States from Germany to study and got involved with InterVarsity at the University of Utah. From there, she came to Urbana 15 and as a result, she has gone from being interested in missions to pursuing practical next steps.

Hikari Saiga was an ordinary student at Waseda University in Japan. And she liked it that way. But recently, while an exchange student at the University of Washington in Seattle, God worked through her reluctant efforts and made himself known.