Islamic Center in Williamsburg, Virginia
Everyday on my drive home from work, I pass by a house that always catches my curiosity: There is an Islamic mosque off to the side. I have often wondered, who really goes to that mosque? Why do they go? What goes on inside?
Over the past few years, I have had the privilege to make friends with some young men who attend that mosque. They are a nice bunch of guys. How much do they really know about Jesus? I am not sure yet.
Before I met these guys, I never knew that much about the history of Islam. So I thought it might be best to take some time to learn. What is the bigger story behind how a group of young men from the Islamic world ended up in my town? That is how I stumbled upon an Audible.com audiobook by Tamim Ansary, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes.
I went to my first InterVarsity Urbana missions conference some thirty-one years ago, in 1984. It was one of the last times Billy Graham ever spoke at Urbana, where he kept the attention of nearly 18,000 college students, challenging us to consider God’s call to go make disciples among all of the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). I can not think of any better place to gain a global vision of what God is doing in our world.
On December 27 to 31, 2015, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is sponsoring yet again, another Urbana missions conference in St. Louis, Missouri, having outgrown the facilities at the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana. Speakers include a worldwide representation of Christian mission leaders, including pastor David Platt, church planter Francis Chan, French Islamic studies professor Evelyne Reisacher, former Muslim Abdu Murray, missionary to the LGBT community Christopher Yuan, missionary trainer Paul Borthwick, and over 180 more. Hundreds of missionary organizations will be represented to give people thinking about a call to missions the perspective they need to understand where God might be calling them.
If you know of someone who should go, particularly a college student, then contact Urbana.org, and pray for God to work in the hearts and minds of these students. What is God doing in our world, and are you where God is at work?