Hello My Dear Friends!
I think I can safely say that Urbana was one of the best weeks of my life.
I flew out of LAX the day after Christmas to meet the college group from Modesto Covenant Church. There were nine students and we had such a great time!
I entered Urbana not sure what I should expect. Great worship? Encouragement? New perspectives? I wasn't sure what direction I should enter in considering that I'm preparing to go overseas.
I left St. Louis with all these things and more! God provided me with so much encouragement and peace and I feel completely refreshed and ready to go to what I've been called to.
Let me just start with the group. They were so amazing. I realized on the flight that I didn't know any of them particularly well. Luckily I'm not as shy as I used to be and we got to know and love each other pretty quick.
Urbana itself was overwhelming. There were 16,000 students who attended the 5 day conference. The typical day included a morning session (all students together for worship and a bible study), lunch, 2 seminars, dinner, and evening session. There were dozens of sessions to choose from each day depending on your interest.
I went to some really great seminars, but my favorite was called de-linking money from missions, taught by Oscar Muriu. He was by far my favorite speaker and teacher. He is a Church planter from Nairobi, Kenya. check out his website to hear some of his sermons.
One powerful thing that happened was the Holy Spirit preparing me for my mission in Thailand. Early in the week a friend of mine asked if I was prepared mentally to move to Thailand. I had to admit to myself that I wasn't. I began to pray that God would separate me from my culture so I can better take on the perspective and world view of the Thai and Burmese people. To make a long story short, He did. He still is. It is a painful thing to be emptied, but as He empties me of my human desires I find that He is replacing the emptiness with His qualities. I feel so different, so free, and so alive.
I ask for your prayers as the countdown begins. Pray that God will continue to strengthen me in His spirit as I prepare myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I appreciate all of you!!!
Now... enjoy these photos from St. Louis :)
The America Center Completely packed!
Rachel, Conner, (Cody) and I. Excellent pizza makers if i do say so myself.
We woke up one morning to beautiful snow covering everything. Including this little one...
A Snowy day in downtown St. Louis
Rachel, Jackie, Dane, and me :)
Our group at the park
We visited the St. Louis science center and found some dinosaurs
For all the pictures check out my facebook!