Thursday, January 7, 2010

Email Update- Urbana Conference & More!

Short Version
·         *The Urbana Conference in St. Louis was intense, challenging and unforgettable!
·         *A short trip to Franklin, PA results in sharing about God’s work in South Asia as well as being encouraged to press on!
·         *P&P & Calendar - More travel coming up!!

Longer Version
Urbana Conference
“I don’t know what God might be telling me this week, it’s all very overwhelming.”
“I’m afraid my parents won’t want me to go…”
“I don’t want to commit to something I might not want to do later”
“How can I trust God to provide the necessary funds, and what happens if I get sick?”
“I have been working in the “L” country for a few years, as a teacher, but just don’t know if that is what I should do long term…”
“Where do I sign up?”

These are just a few remarks from the 16,000 students who attended Urbana, the world’s largest conference on the topic of God’s work around the world.  As one of 40 members from our organization who was invited to serve at Urbana, it was a blessing to share first-hand how I had seen God handle some of these fears in my own life and encourage students to consider their potential role in bringing God’s Word to those who have never heard.  Some of us also helped with seminars on specific topics, during one of which I gave a brief summary of the role of oral Stories as a means of sharing the Word.
(Picture: Conversations at the booth- a new friend interested in One-Story!)


One note that stuck out to me during the closing comments was this: “Prior generations did not fail because of lack of passion or excitement.  They failed because of lack of faithfulness.”  Most participants leave a conference like Urbana with a lot of energy for following God’s plan for their life.  However, as the Enemy works, their faithfulness to endure during the harder or frustrating times begins to falter.  Would you pray for faithfulness for this next generation of overseas and ‘here at home’ workers?  And pray for the unreached people groups that may hear God’s Word through their efforts.
(Picture: My brother Mark was also able to attend the conference with University of Delaware’s Intervarsity Group.  We both had busy schedules but got to eat lunch together a few days!!)

Thank you also for praying for me as God shows me what specific steps he wants me to take based on what I learned at the conference.  A glimpse of some of what challenged me from different speakers can be found on my blog: www.elizabethstories.blogspot.com – I posted 2 entries (dated: Dec 30 and Jan 4).  I am truly honored to have shared with students at Urbana and am thankful for the opportunity.  I also realize that God shared some lessons with me that I need to be faithful to so that He can stretch me into the person He wants me to be, for His Glory!

Franklin, PA  Visit
(Picture: A few friends from Franklin!!) 
After Urbana, I flew to Pittsburgh and then to Franklin, PA.  I enjoyed sharing what God has been doing in South Asia over the past year, with a supporting community out there.  The last time I visited, one mother shared with me how her daughter was considering overseas work.  As we talked, I shared some of my joys and struggles of getting to that point.  Recently, her daughter joined an organization and is serving in Central Asia!  We have also established a fairly regular email friendship!  It is exciting to share language learning strategies with her via email and hear what God has already been doing in her own life since she arrived there.  I am very thankful to the congregation in Franklin for their love and support, and especially to Jack and Millie for hosting me once again.  I appreciate you so much!!


Calendar:
Jan 10 Jan 24- New Zealand- Call2All Conference
Jan 25-Feb 5- South Asia – Training for story cycle
Feb 10? – Orlando, Florida – Moving closer to my organization’s headquarters!

P&P
Praise for Urbana conversations and all that God will do in and through those who attended.


Praise for family time during Christmas and birthdays!


(Picture 1- My sister, Natalie and I celebrate our birthdays together since they are one day apart in December.)







(Picture 2- My good friends from India, here in Delaware, took me out for birthday dinnerl!!! :)


(Picture 3- Celebrating my sister Jennifer’s birthday with my grandparents this past week!)




Prayer for overseas travels this month and words to say for presentations and training sessions in NZ and South Asia!


Prayer for housing in Orlando!





Until All Have Heard,

~ Elizabeth



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