Blessed are the Persecuted. (Urbana Through a Lens: Day 3)

Day 3 at Urbana was a quick, busy day. Simple as that. No more rain though!

Morning Session Part 1: Dr. Patrick Fung on the parable of the 10 virgins.
No one can rely on someone else’s spirituality… Spirituality CANNOT be borrowed.” (Acts 13:36)
Let us be a community of God’s people, not burnt out but burning bright far and wide for him. The time will come to divide the ready from the unready.”
“Jesus’ coming will be (1) Unexpected, (2) sudden, (3) definitive, and (4) decisive.”

Morning Session Part 2: Evelyne Reisacher
-I have to say, this lady had the cutest french accent ever!
-Acronym: WWW – Welcome, Wisdom, and Wonder.

  • WelcomeI am afraid of scary Muslims as well as scary Christians, but I won’t be afraid of Muslims as a whole.”
  • Wisdom – we need Christians who can resolve conflict as peacemakers, in education and social work… to care for Muslims  where they are mistreated. It takes time to grow. It combines learning with prayer, submission to God and passion for service.
  • Wonder “Christians must rediscover that wonder is part of our mission.” A wonder of discovering more about science and  discovering more about people through relationships.

“Our goal should be a lifetime of relationships and conversation with Muslims.”
Jeremiah: “I have cried until the tears no longer come.”
-“We are ‘hostages of hope.’ We remember that Jesus is the Joy of the World.”
“It is the joy that brings me back to weakness, because I want to see more joy!” 

Lunch: My good friend Jon and I decided to take our lunch break and go to Kiener Plaza to see the famous St. Louis  Arch with the Old Courtyard building.


On the way back we ran into a food truck. I got a “Captain Obvious” sandwich, which is a BLT with avocado and an fried egg. I also got their self made chips.


Afternoon: Hack4Missions – I’ll blog about the project on another post. But here are a couple pictures I managed to take during Tuesday’s Hack4Missions activities.


Dinner with Grace and Will – One of my roommate’s friends mentioned that something to eat in St. Louis is toasted ravioli (essentially fried ravioli) at a restaurant named “Charlie Gitto’s.” I got to eat there with two friends in our church’s Young Adult Fellowship (YAF). Both are Rutgers graduates and former Intervarsity members. I talk to them all the time at church even though I’m not a part of YAF, and I love learning from them and spending time with them. I also teach a 4th grade Sunday School class with Grace! 🙂 Also, Will is volunteering this year for Intervarsity at Urbana. Food pictures coming up! The ravioli was pretty darn delicious. The ground-meat inside was on point, and it was fried so well. It’s like a different take on a chicken nugget… I love chicken nuggets.



After dinner, we also visited Kiener plaza (the same place I went during lunch with Jon) to see the same view of the St. Louis Arch at night.


Then we returned to the convention center for the night session. I stopped to take a long exposure shot.


Night Session – Prayer Meeting for the Persecuted
I won’t be going in much detail because for safety purposes.
“Today’s persecuted Christians know that the best response to persecution is to pray for the persecutors.”
-“When we align ourselves with God’s kingdom there is always a resurrection. Always. Always. Always.” 
– MaryKate Morse
-We sang: Father, let this cup pass from us; yet not as I will, but as you will. We bless those who persecute us, we pray and choose to bless.
-“Our call is to press in. (1) To read. (2) To watch. (3) To pray.”

Approximately 16,000 people prayed for the persecuted during this night session. At one point it was almost completely quiet. A crowded football dome… quiet. At another point many broke out singing “How He Loves,” and many other songs to follow.

There were electronic candles passed around to create a candlelight/bonfire type of setting. I’ve been part of candlelight services and bonfire prayer meetings before, but in this stadium, it was like no other.


Lastly, we were given different ways to pray for the persecuted. One way was to write down Bible verses and worship music lyrics on a card to send to others who may not have access to the Bible. This activity made me think: what would it be like if I didn’t have access to a Bible? I was given a renewed appreciation of the Bible verses I’ve memorized at church as a child. I was also encouraged to want to memorize more Scripture now in college.


Roommate Huddles: our room shared about our days. We also prayed for each other. We mainly discussed the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (from morning Bible study), trying to figure out how it applies to our lives. I think that the workers who complain represent many of us who struggle to commit our complete lives to God. If we only need salvation to go to heaven, why do I need to try hard to be a Jesus-follower now? If someone who accepts Jesus on his deathbed gets to go to heaven, why can’t I pursue a comfortable life?

I’m finishing this at midnight after Day 4 (Wednesday) and I can say that Urbana is continuing to be ridiculously tiring, but such a blessing. Keep a look out for a Day 4 post- thanks for reading 🙂

Please pray for a more energy and good rest at night, and also the Hack4Missions presentations tomorrow (Thursday).





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