Urbana into the New Year!


16,000 college students listening

Every three years, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship hosts Urbana, a huge gathering of college students featuring speakers, Bible studies and exhibitors geared around what God wants to do for His glory among the nations — with an emphasis on each individual responding to God’s leading to find their own place in it all. Because we rejoined OM in early 2014, we obviously missed the last one, Urbana12.

But we hit this one. Boy did we ever.

That was a zippy tour of our space at Urbana15. Yes, that is a geodesic dome, symbolic of our Bubble Farm. Inside, the dome at Urbana15 had four stations for learning and interaction: Bubble Farms, OM’s Ship “Logos Hope”, our Marketplace Workers initiative and Freedom Challenge. Our stellar Global Voice team—Sarah, Kevin, Patrick, and Nigel—worked like crazy to pull this together by December 26 when we had to leave.

In the bottom of the 9th, my designated hitters—Hod, Maddie, Jenny and Jake—came in and helped us hit a home run. Sadly, no photos were made of this process…

Hey, here’s a piece of free advice if you’re ever planning to assemble a geodesic dome and set up the display space inside it over Christmas weekend in under 5 hours.

Practice. (Glad we did…those domes are funky to assemble. Thankfully, we set this up a week before in the Worship Center at OM. Phew…)

bubble bars

dome diagram

bubble assembly practice

Better than the space itself, however, were the conversations that happened because of the space.

We talked with so many young people pursuing their studies, their professions, developing the gifting and talents that God has created in them, listening to learn how they can employ those gifts and talents for the glory of God among the nations. What a privilege to be a signpost on their journey!

Urbana15 OM bubble

Jenny w Urbana15 attendee

Sarah Daniel w Urbana15 attendee

Sandeep w Urbana15 attendees

Chris book table

inside bubble

We also got to join in the fun at morning and evening plenary sessions with the likes of Francis Chan and David Platt, and a multi-ethnic, multi-genre music team that helped us worship God in about 6 languages that were not English! Not to be forgotten was this very entertaining Costa Rican, Allan Matamoros, a man whose surname means “Muslim Killer”, who has spent his adult life sharing his love for Jesus among Muslims. God has a good sense of humor.

allan matamoros

David Platt Urbana15

Urbana15 music team

Urbana15 stadium

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