By Alec Hill, President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

"The Lord Met Us"

All I can say is “wow.”

The Lord met us in so many ways over five days in St. Louis. He met us through Scripture, speakers, and seminars. He met us through prayer, worship, and drama. He met us through tracks, worship, and lounges.

At times, I felt like I was experiencing a foretaste of heaven. So much joy. So much rich fellowship. So much exaltation of Jesus.

The highlight of my week was speaking to the Student Leadership Track. Being with 525 campus leaders was so thrilling that I could barely contain myself! It gives me great hope for the future. I was also deeply moved by the AIDS Caregiver Kit assembly. Thanks to the staff who allowed me to go through the assembly line eight times.

While we can’t fully comprehend the extent of the Spirit’s work among us, my sense is that this was a very special Urbana. I suspect that twenty years from now, Urbana 12 participants will be spreading the Kingdom of God all over the globe – proclaiming the Good News, healing infirmities, fighting injustice, and discipling new believers.

Many deep commitments were made at Urbana 12:

  • To serve at least two years in missions – 4,224 (2,676 in 2009)
  • To lead an evangelistic Bible study – 6,434 (5,034 in 2009)
  • To follow Jesus for the first time or to make a recommitment – 96 & 3740

In addition, I praise God the sheer amount of resources mobilized: 32,000 AIDS caregiver kits, $800,000+ in offering, and social enterprises launched.

The comments of three exhibitors spoke volumes to me:

  • “I need to say this: BEST. URBANA. EVER.”
  • “Quality of students is the highest I’ve ever seen in all the four Urbanas I’ve been to.”
  • “Our high-quality conversations in this one Urbana surpassed the TOTAL of the previous two Urbanas combined!”

This conference is also likely to have an unexpectedly profound impact on our board of trustees for the next decade. Five prospective trustees attended and each was deeply touched. What a fabulous orientation!

Special thanks to the Urbana Leadership Team, with special kudos for Tom Lin (Urbana Director), Nikki Toyama-Szeto (Program Director), and Rob Knight (Urbana Operations Director). And thanks to all staff for recruiting, praying, teaching, and leading. Finally, a personal shout-out to Dora Yiu who assisted me all week.

A few of my favorite photos: