Floodwaters Can't Wash Out Urbana Missions Conference
In the midst of torrential rains and area flooding, Urbana 15, the 2015 missions conference in St. Louis, has moved forward this week with no changes to the schedule.
More than 16,000 young Christians from 88 countries have gathered for the event which started Sunday and ends Thursday night.
InterVarsity/USA, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada, and Groupes Bibliques Universitaires et Collegiaux du Canada sponsored the conference, which is held every three years.
"We had three extremely wet days to start Urbana and passed out thousands of trash bags to students as emergency ponchos as they registered," spokesman Gordon Govier said.
Urbana is one of the largest student missions conferences in the world. It aims to challenge young Christians to think about their responsibility and privilege to participate in global missions.
Urbana 15 organizers note that Ferguson, Missouri, is just 12 miles away from the conference site. They selected racial reconciliation as one of the main themes for the week.
This year's conference is also challenging students to consider mission applications in the areas of social media and technology. Seminars during the conference focus on a variety of topics and places, including Cuba and the Middle East.
Urbana started in 1946. This year more than half of the participants are ethnic minorities.