Salvationist youth converge on Urbana

World’s largest missions gathering of college students

by Rob Reardon, Captain and Ted Horwood, Captain – 

THE SALVATION ARMY BOOTH at Urbana featured materials on overseas opportunities for young people

Two hundred and fifty Salvationist young adults from five territories joined 19,000 other delegates who converged on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign to participate in the 20th Student Missions Convention, Urbana ’03.

What awaited them was a solid dose of scriptural teaching, powerful worship and invaluable interaction with like-minded Christians.

Since 1964, Urbana Conventions, the largest mission mobilization gathering of college students in the world, has been providing a forum of teaching and resource to prepare men and women to share God’s love with people around the world. This year, the theme for the convention was “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done,” and delegates were challenged to come “for five days of seeking your place in God’s Mission.”

Erin Dabis, a delegate from the Northwest attests, “I have never taken but a moment to consider what heaven might even be like,” she says. “Urbana was the greatest opportunity I have ever had to experience just the smallest piece of what sitting before the throne of God will feel like.”

Dabis, one of over 50 delegates from the Western Territory, wasn’t alone in her experience. Sitting in God’s presence is the perfect place to be when challenged about future service in his Kingdom. Jewela Campos, Torrance Corps, noted that missions touch everyone, not just students seeking God’s heart for future occupations and ministry. “Urbana reminded me that I need to be more involved in missions, even though I have a full-time job.”

At The Salvation Army kindred session, all 250 Salvationist delegates joined together for lunch and fellowship. During their time together, Captain Sandra Ryan from Canada marveled at the future potential for the Army. “The Salvation Army has a great future ahead,” she noted. “You can change the world!”

Never before has the Western Territory had as many missions and ministry opportunities as we do today. Missionary teams will be mobilized to more than six countries, and plans are underway for the Western Territory’s first Mission Conference to held in October 2004.

Contact the delegates from your division to hear their testimony, and witness God’s moving in their lives.

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