Liveblogging from Urbana #3

Liveblogging from Urbana #3

Friday at Urbana was a full day.  The morning started with plenary sessions for the students.  At 12:30 the “exhibitors hall” opened up and students began streaming in once again.

One of the more important parts of Urbana are seminars held during the afternoons.  I participated in a seminar yesterday called “Around the World” which was a roundup of various ministry opportunities across the globe. There were about 300 students present for this seminar and there were many others going on at the same time.

The evening session was a focus on the oppressed, cities, and the poor.  Sheryl Cohn from the International Justice Mission started with a rousing challenge for students to consider the oppressed.  She related a story about a young woman held captive in the sex industry.  According to Cohn, there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today.  She asked students to consider the most oppressed and serve them.

The video testimony was about a woman who didn’t go cross-culturally to minister, but “stayed home” to work in Fresno, CA.

Following a drama, Ray Bakke shared his heart for urban areas.  His talk was framed by his personal journey as he grew in love for cities through his own experiences in Chicago.  It was an excellent call and challenge.  He stated that cities are more than just collections of people – they are the context in which we live our lives and therefore a part of who we are.

Saul Cruz, founder and director of Armonia Ministries, presented the needs of the poor.  He related a number of stories regarding the poor and the need for Christians to demonstrate God’s love more than just verbally.

A break was followed by a focus on AIDS.  Bono came onto the big screen to address the students and challenge them to take up the call to meet this human tragedy head on.  It was not 100% clear if Bono was taped or live, but it seemed to be live.  Music and worship was led by The Cross Movement, a hip-hop group from Philadelphia.

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