My day 2 update is coming at the end of day 3. That goes to show how busy days 2 and 3 have been.
It was another rainy day. Packing Timberland waterproof boots and umbrella really helped.
There is so much going on at Urbana right now. So much worship, learning, and fellowship. It’s almost overwhelming. One of the things that I’ve always had trouble in life is prioritizing. I want to do everything, and make the most of every hour that I have. Urbana is no different. There are people to meet up and catch up with, seminars, tracks, and people to fellowship… prioritizing time is so important. It’s peculiar that I’m struggling with something at this conference that I struggle with in routine life.
The morning session started with another message by Dr. Patrick Fung.
–“Jesus led his disciples into the storm, and jesus saved his disciples from the storm, but Jesus never let his disciples avoid the storm.”
–Following Jesus is: (1) Radical. (2) Risky. (3) Costly.
–“If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” -Hudson Taylor
–“Are you willing to follow Jesus into the storm?”
The morning session continued with a message from Christena Cleveland. She talked about unity and division from a Social Psychology view. She mentioned “The Power of US“: When we are together and connected, we share each other’s resources, but we also share each other’s pain.
–“Unity is powerful, but division is just as powerful.”
-“We create ‘us/them distinctions.’ Once we decide who our ‘us’ is, we perceive everyone else as ‘them.’ When we create ‘us/them distinctions,’ we have an inaccurate meta-perception.”
–Christena defined meta-perception as: What we thing that they thing about us.
-We should step into others’ shoes.
–“Who is part of your family? How will the world know?”
In the afternoon we had seminars go to, exhibits from different organizations to visit, and a bookstore to browse. There are also differnet tracks that students were able to sign up for. I signed up for the “Hack4Missions” track.
What is “Hack4Missions”? It’s essentially a hackathon here at Urbana.However, instead of a continuous all-nighter, it’s a designated time in the afternoon (1:30 PM – 5:30 PM) for three days (and one day for presentations). We were given 12 projects to join and help with. There are different things that we can contribute- from coding to web-development to project management to graphic design, and many other tasks. Read more about Hack4Missions here: http://hack4missions.org/
I’ll talk about the project I got to take part in later.
During our night session, we first had the privilege of hearing Francis Chan speak. He talked about “Living Under the Authority of Jesus.”
-He mentioned that there is such a pull to live a comfortable life, and a pull to make a name for one’s self.
–A comfortable lifestyle “pales in comparison to following Jesus.”
–Sometimes we just “discuss the Bible to death.” What does following really mean? “We make so many excuses to not do anything and not make an effort to tell others about Christ.”
-“Paul: Anyone who desires to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ will be persecuted.”
–Chan asked: “Do you want to know the will of God?” If God were to reveal his plan for me RIGHT now, would I even want to hear it??
One thing that really opened my eyes was Francis Chan’s description of the disciple Matthew’s calling to follow Jesus. He asked us: “What do you think Matthew thought when Jesus told him to follow Him?” From Matthew’s standpoint, Jesus just raised a paralyzed man, calmed the storm, drove out a demon. Chan said that Matthew must have been thinking: if every force of evil is under this guy’s power, what is there to fear? Matthew rose and followed him. Chan stated that the book of Matthew is obscure. Matthew knew he had to get up and start moving. It got me thinking- how am I responding to God’s call in my life?
Next came Michelle Higgins. She is an activist for #BlackLivesMatter.
–♪ hold on just a little longer. everything will be alright ♫
–“I love you. Thus, you have dignity” – Deuteronomy
–“If you don’t know your history, you will repeat it.” (Japanese internment. Now refugee crisis).
-“We must tear down our idols. God wants to release you of the burden of being in control!”
–We should say: “I don’t want to bear this burden of being in control of defining justice, but I know the one who does.”
-“We hope for thing that are unseen. This hope becomes part of the unseen. A community of people committed to abiding love is evidence to things unseen.”
–“We must commit ourselves to give control of our stories to the God who wrote them.”
I’m really grateful that Urbana is making an effort to address the current events happening around the world, and doing their best to provide us with a godly and mission-minded perspective in response to these events.
Finally, we had roommate huddles. My roommates George and Jeff are in the business track, and it’s nice to hear about what they’ve learned in their track. George echoed Francis Chan, describing how we know that life is not meant to be easy, but our college education is all about attaining a life of wealth, success, and comfort. Jeff mentioned that an important thing about being a Christian is to simply be the best we can be for God.
Urbana is getting more intense, and the days are getting longer. There is so much more to learn and experience.
Please pray for energy, passion, and a Christ-centered mindset.