by Karen Stiller
In 1993 my husband Brent and I travelled to Urbana, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s student mission conference that happens in the snowy days between Christmas and New Year’s every three years.
Back then, it was still held at Urbana-Champaign. We went to represent Regent College, where I worked as admissions officer and my husband studied. We stood in the huge hall where exhibitors provided information to eager students contemplating what God was calling them to in their young lives.
I remember the halls packed with worshippers. I remember the best worship music I had yet heard in my Christian life, and I remember being blown away by Ravi Zacharias, one of the many excellent speakers.
Urbana.org very wonderfully has past Urbana conferences profiled on their website, so you can take a trip down Urbana memory lane if you attended before. We pledged, back then, that when we had kids the right age (grade 12 and university/college), we would make sure they got there. And we have. Three years ago our oldest son made it there. And came back refreshed and challenged. This coming year, Urbana 2015, he will go again along with his younger sister, in her grade 12 year. In three years we will make the trek again with our youngest.
That’s how good it is.
We are very excited at Faith Today to be making it possible for a Canadian university student to attend Urbana, someone who might not be able to make it otherwise. We ran a contest asking students to tell us in 150 words why they wanted to attend this year’s conference. The winner, (we are paying their registration fee) will share social media posts from Urbana, giving us all a peek into this year’s event, which we know has the potential to be a game-changer for attendees. The tag line for this year’s conference is “Find Your Life.” That sounds about right.
Watch in the Nov/Dec issue of Faith Today for “A Canadian’s Guide to Urbana 2015.”