none live for themselves

a glimpse into the mind a lazy dreamer

urbana 06: day 2

Posted by Jonathan Chant on 1:47, December 29, 2006

Another 24 hours has passed and there’s so much to say again. I guess I’m doing these entries more for myself than for you, whoever is reading this. This is kind of a way for me to keep a record of what’s happened at Urbana this year. So here we go again, day 2: first the happenings, then the thoughts.

Started by waking up at the crack of dawn at 6:15 this morning. Man, I am not a morning person. First time I’ve seen the sunrise in while. Absolutely beautiful. Changed and went down for breakfast. Got to meet with Mike Lau and Sam Wong for breakfast, yay! :) Actually, this turned out to be a meeting kind of a day for me. Found out last night (while I was writing yesterday’s entry) that Garway and Ada were also in my hotel. And just a few minutes ago, just saw Michelle come into the lobby. Kat Luk’s also here and so many other people from TO are in this hotel. It’s pretty sweet.

Anyways, back to the day. Almost missed the bus that takes us to the convention center, but we (Sam Wong and some of the MCBC crew) made it. Had a very cool Bible study at the convention center. Ever studied the Bible with 1000 other people at the same time? And I don’t mean somebody teaching to us from the stage about a passage, but a real inductive Bible study where we read it, find interesting points, ask questions, find answers. Although not all 1000 of could chip in our two cents, there were mics floating around for people to share with the rest of the group. Very cool.

The morning session started after that. Great musical worship. You can tell that the worship team has been preparing for a while ’cause their pretty tight, musically and spirtually. Sang a French worship song. Urbana’s doing the whole multi-cultural musical worship again, except not just Spanish songs like 3 years ago. Like I mentioned, we sang a French one and we also sang a Conganese (I think that’s what the worship leader said) and at the evening session, we sang a Korean one. Can’t wait to see what language we’ll be singing in tomorrow! Had another Bible exposition by Ajith Fernando (the Youth for Christ director in Sri Lanka). Unfortunately, I had to leave early to have lunch before my shift started as a volunteer.

And then the most physically tiring part of the day started. I’m volunteering at Urbana this year and my job assignment is to be a floor proctor in the exhibits hall. Basically, this means I just walk around the exhibits area and make sure that everything’s alright, nobody’s breaking the rules, stuff like that. There weren’t any major issues I had to deal with, so this meant I just had remind a few exhibitors every so often not to clog up the aisles. It also meant there was a lot of time for me to just roam around and talk to various exhibitors. Always a great time. Like I said yesterday, really connecting with these people, hearing their stories and how God is moving in the world, really encouraging stuff. But it was pretty physically demanding, walking around for seven and a half hours straight with only 2 short breaks takes a toll on ya. My legs are still a little stiff. But it was definitely worth it. The conversations, the connections, all so very cool. Ran into who knows how many TO people at the exhibit area too.

Grabbed some supper, headed the dome for the main session (which I was unfortunately late for), and heard from two great speakers: Oscar Muriu and Brenda Salter McNeil. Oscar spoke about reconciling the North American/European churches with the African churches. How the western theology isn’t working anymore. He even was bold enough to say that using the western theology in missions now is like drinking from a poisoned chalice. Wow. Harsh, but true. The rest of the world doesn’t respect the western theology and missionaries anymore. The church here in North America is not thriving, at least not like our Asian and African counterparts. So what does Oscar suggest we must do? Work together, as a global church. The African churches must work with the American churches who must work with Canadian churches who must work with Asian churches…you get the point. He used 1 Corinthians 12 as the basis for this. Each regional church is but one part of the body of Christ that must work together to make the Gospel known in all nations. No church is greater than the other and each must give and receive. Good stuff. Brenda spoke about saying yes to God. We can’t settle, we must go forward with God with our yes’s! What a passionate speaker. Greg Jao said it best: I’d be convicted by the Holy Spirit even if Brenda read from the Yellow pages. I highly recommend you check out the webcasts here. Caught the bus back to my hotel with some of the MCBC crew, took a shower and now I’m here in the lobby, typing this out.

Whew…that was a lot longer than expected, so I’ll keep my final thoughts short. Just simply amazed with what God is already starting to do amongst the 22,000+ of us here. Many great things are going to start because of how God will meet people here this week, just like how great things started after Urbana 03, like Friday morning prayers and unity on campus…

rumble rumble

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