Urbana representatives from the Western TerritoryPhoto by Keri Shay
Urbana representatives from the Western Territory Photo by Keri Shay

Young adults explore missions opportunities at the Urbana Conference.

By Megan McQuade

The Urbana 2012 Missions Conference, held over New Years Eve in St. Louis, Mo., included 55 representatives from the Western Territory who joined Salvation Army delegates from the three other U.S. territories and over 16,000 Christians from across the country. The event is hosted every three years by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for North American students.

Participants experienced multicultural worship and drama, guest speakers, in-depth Bible study and focused prayer. This year’s study focused on the book of Luke and emphasized how to make a difference wherever one is, locally or in a global setting.

Calisto Odede, a pastor from Nairobi, Kenya, began the week with a challenge for listeners to carefully examine their ministry and waste no time in their relationship with the Lord. “If it’s not fit for local consumption, then it’s not fit for export overseas,” said Odede.

During the conference, delegates packed “Caregiver” kits with medical supplies for delivery to caregivers across Africa in partnership with WorldVision. Urbana attendees packed a total of 32,000 kits.

“Making the medical kits made me feel good, but I wanted to do more,” said Deslynn Castaneda of the Kona (Hawaii) Corps.

At the end of the week, all 180 Salvation Army participants met at the St. Louis Temple Corps for a kindred session. Paul Borthwick, a founding member of Urbana, missionary, professor and author, spoke on the importance of the delegates’ response to God’s leading during Urbana. Many made commitments to serve in more effective ways in their corps and communities, while others committed to short or long-term missions in The Salvation Army.

Throughout the conference, Army delegates maintained a booth in the exhibit hall to promote Salvation Army mission opportunities. The Western Territory highlighted Revolution Hawaii, Revolution Micronesia, summer camp, Overseas Child Sponsorship, local corps volunteer opportunities, and short-term missions in Guam and Majuro (Marshall Islands).

To see Urbana photos from Western Territory delegates, search #UrbanaTSAWEST on Instagram or visit saynetwork.com/saycauseblog/?cat=1.

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