A New Year’s Celebration Like No Other (Urbana Through A Lens: Day 5, Part II)

Urbana Day 5 part II:

Night Session Part 1: Steve Colby (from Canada, former missionary to Sierra Leone)
“Through global partnerships, God has totally ruined our lives for global missions.”
-“North Americans need to leave home and focus on learning from our global partners.”
-“When we go, (1) we  gain persepective, (2) we grow in faith and character, (3) we obey Christ’s command to go into all the nations, (4) the gospel gets bigger and Jesus gets bigger, and (5) we return with a story to tell… that story we tell challenges our friends as well and the University.”
-“It’s not convenient… Jesus disrupts our self made plans.” 
<– Here Colby echoes one of my all-time favorite Bible verses and proverbs: Proverbs 19:21
“One question: are your bags packed?”

Night Session Part 2: Dr. Patrick Fung returns to conclude the conference (whoo!!):
-People first thought that the earth was the center of the universe, until Copernicus discovered that the earth and planets revolved around the sun. In the same way, “we are not the center of the universe.”
Matthew 28 – cosmic significance.
“Worship is the ultimacy of missions.”
“We have lost the fear of God when we see the work of God.”
-“Without the fear of God there is no revival. [Rather,] there is a place for proper fear of God.”
“Persecution will never kill the church, but a diluted gospel will kill the church [and] the loss of passion to share the gospel will kill the church.”
There must be a “sense of urgency and joy to share the good news.”
“Maybe you think you’re a failure. [But] Jesus came to [the disciples and] received them as they were. [He] trusted them with responsibility and the Great Commission. We must ourselves experience the good news of forgiveness.”
-“Salvation is found in no one else. Resurrection changes everything. We experience the power of the Risen Lord.”
-“[We must] move from self-sufficiency to Christ-sufficiency.”
The Great Commission does not start with a command, but with a statement and declaration that Jesus is lord over everything. Dr. Fung quoted Hudson Taylor again: “If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.”

-Jesus is Lord over:

  1. the church.“we must let go of ethnic pride. We brand the name of Christ, What brand do you carry through your characters, deeds, and words?”
  2. all society and cultures.“a right relationship with God involves a right relationship with people.”
  3. all creation“God cares and created this world. Creation care is not a political agenda.”

-“He has risen. He is Lord. What story will you tell?”

To send us off, Shaylen Jackson (our coach for the week) gave us these ways to our Urbana journey:

  1. Rest
  2. Process
  3. Move into mission.
  4. Share your story.

I’m doing a lot of the rest (and also processing) right now. Lots of sleep since I’ve gotten home on Friday.

New Year’s Celebration:
Leading up to midnight, Urbana finished off with about two hours of praise, highlight videos, and drama team skits. I’m not going to go into much detail, but with the whole week to get to learn the new songs, as well as this being the last session together as a large group of 16,000, it was a great moment of praise. I was thinking that of all my New Year’s Eve celebrations as a 20 year old, I’ve never experienced one more heartwarming and exciting as this one. No “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve” this year, no watching the famous ball descent, there was a lack of tradition and I was away from family, but I was with a different family, singing my heart out with them together to praise God. What a moment.

After the last session, I waited a bit to run to a bunch of a familiar faces (from church and school fellowship) that I barely had time to say hi to all week. It was so great to give them a hug and say “Happy New Year.”

A group of roommates from CCF/RCCC/Rutgers/UMaryland/???

I spent a couple minutes after the New Year had kicked off outside, watching those who had taken busses get ready to head home. There were many coach busses lined up in front of the stadium, even Coach from Canada! I took a moment to understand how many people had come to St. Louis from so many different places, and through various modes of transportation.

So in that train of thought, I tried to make a photo to express that feeling. I took a quick long-exposure (oxymoron) of people walking pass this bus. Let me know what you think, haha!


I also took a quick moment to appreciate the security and policemen working on the night New Year’s Eve. Then I realized that there were also Intervarsity workers and volunteers around the whole city directing traffic and creating a safer environment for us. I stopped by and asked these two wonderful IV workers if I could take a picture of them. I also said thanks :).


And I think that’s the heart of missions and it’s a good way to sum up all the wonderful things I learned during my Urbana 2015 experience. These two IV workers (I wish i jotted down their name) are so eager to give us college students an safe environment to learn more about God’s mission and worship at Urbana, that they’d give up their Christmas vacation and brave the cold weather. When I was thanking them (and asking them to take a picture for my blog hehe), they were also quick to ask me how Urbana was for me. It’s this selfless love that they were showing us- the lifestyle of showing Christ’s love to others, that I think missions is all about.

Dr. Fung said (and quoted above), “worship is the ultimacy of missions,” and David Platt said that “we manufacture a heart for missions but we miss out on a heart for Christ.” 

Worship is a lifestyle. Missions is also a lifestyle. I am learning now that missions isn’t necessarily just about going into unreached places of the world to preach the gospel (which is very very important), but is an everyday lifestyle of loving others with the love that Christ showed us.

This concludes my Urbana blog post series. Thanks for reading! I will probably post a couple takeaways I had from the conference, as well as my Hack4Missions experience though 🙂


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