Although this was not my first Urbana, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable to begin. Why was I here? I already knew my call. But the Lord continued to open my heart and mind. My good friend Abby Cline and her fiance Stephen roomed with my parents, brother, and I, which was a special treat. To be able to process and share life again with such a good friend was life-giving. I also caught up with a few others from Niger! Rachel, a good friend and old housemate, was there, as well as my future housemate, Julie! A former Sahel student was there representing CIU, and another single guy wanting to minister to the Fulani in Niger was there! It was truly wonderful to make so many connections.
Through seminars, Bible Studies, quiet times, evening sessions, worship, and conversations with friends and strangers, I learned some important lessons. I was reminded of the purpose behind missions - JESUS. David Platt warned us to be committed to Jesus before committing ourselves to missions. Francis Chan reminded us of the beauty of living under the authority of Christ. In Bible Study, we discussed how the body of Christ needs each other. And after talking with friends, I realized that it's ok to not know or understand the future. I am in the palm of Almighty God - there is no better place to be.
God is good. We headed home after a loud and eventful evening of New Year's Eve worship, grateful for all that the Lord had done and will continue to do.
|Abby Cline, Abdoul Bala, Rachel Gillner, Hannah Knox|