I am still in the Urbana mode and singing sweet songs in my head that at one time during my Urbana experience I was able to be apart of some 16,000+ people singing in different languages to our creator in heaven. It was a moment like no other in a blink of an eye I saw what heaven can be, if only we live out Gods commands more instead of our desires.
Before I write more on my experience I want to share with you what I have committed my self too:
1. I will be inviting both believers and non believers to study Luke with me so they may truly get to know Jesus Christ the way I did during Urbana12.
2. I commit to serve and learn in a global or cross-cultural setting, however the length may be less than a year to more than 2 years.
Those are my commitments I made and I plan to stick to them.
Which brings me to what I have learned from Urbana12, first of all God Qualifies the called, he doesn’t call the qualified, and I for one am proof of it, because before I became an Outreach worker with Light Patrol, Youth Unlimited I had absolutely had no qualifications. But because I was faithful to God and listened to my calling he had for me, God has been teaching me many things in which have been a blessing to my work with Light Patrol. I have also come to terms that God is not done with me just yet, for I am being called by God to experience truly stepping out of my comfort zone by following his calling to “Nigeria” in which there he will have something for me to learn. I do not know what he will teach me, but I do know that I can not disobey the Lord God Almighty.
True in following God’s voice I will have to sacrifice my summer holidays from school to experience this, and true I am still going to be working with Light Patrol and must talk with my employers. However I am not to worried about them denying me, after all what I learn from “Nigeria” will be forever a lesson that with just strengthen my efforts with Light Patrol. What made me make this chose was meeting a lady who moved there 20 years ago with her husband just for a summer that now turned into 20 years of running a safe house for Human Trafficking Victims of Nigeria. She told me how her adopted daughter was sold at 3 months old when her mother had died, but was able to intervene and adopt the child. I have been a Prostitute and I know exactly how these individuals are feeling, the lady spoke to me on how she feels there are males being forced to work sexually as well but doesn’t know how to approach them. With my experience and God calling me there I know I can help. It makes me cry to know that somewhere there are Children as young as 3 months being bought and sold, I can’t live with that on my heart and that is why at Urbana 2012 I committed to serving God in whatever manner he has deemed me to serve.
I also had the privilege of sitting down to lunch with some fellow Urbana goer’s from Tyndale University where we also met our server. We had been challenged to get to know someone we never met before and so we chose our server at the restaurant and to our surprise we learned that RACISM still lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. Our waiter spoke to us on how ever since the black community gained equal rights all the whites moved out of Saint Louis, he spoke with tears in eyes as he stated “I hate to be honest but racism is still living here”. He spoke of how he moved back home to take care of his Grandmother because his parents didn’t want to, he spoke of how he was studying to become a Doctor to help the ill. Then when he asked if he would ever visit Toronto he was “I would not visit place that has Tim Hortons on every corner” which we knew was a joke. In the end we got to know someone that we didn’t know, but at the same time had been able to understand the exact pain he was feeling. After that meal the entire Tyndale grouped promised to pray for him and Saint Louis.
There are so many more things I have experienced but need some more time to think about them and pray for them.
David Blanchard - University Student, BA in Biblical Studies and Theology – Youth Ministry