Last day of Urbana... I have to say that the whole thing came and went far too quickly.
It was once again a relatively chill day, but for a few certain things that do stand out.
After morning session, we went to the Arts Lounge for a poetry slam (really just an open mic.) It was exciting for several reasons - I was interested to see if Christian kids actually had skills, and Andi and I thought it would be hilarious to sign Jenna up without telling her. There were about 10-12 poets who just blew me away... I am SO excited to see that God is present in spoken word (especially when I see it so rarely in the Ottawa and Vancouver scene.) Jenna did her thang. I am so proud of her for having the guts to get up there and not only perform, but perform confidently, especially with such a personal piece. That girl constantly surprises me. However, what ended up being the most intense part of the slam was the end when a girl named Demi (Komi's cousin!!) came up and shared an INCREDIBLE message about racial reconciliation. In short, she grew up in Chicago with a deep hatred of white Americans because of all the things that had been done in the past to African-Americans. However, through Antoine's morning testimony about how God had convicted him to finally forgive the Hutus for all they had done to his people (the Tutsis,) Demi realized that in order to truly be a follower of Christ, she needed to give up the hatred that she harboured in her heart. In short, there were a lot of tears, a MASSIVE prayer circle, much forgiveness, and new inspiration.
Jenna, Andi, and I skipped the afternoon sessions, opting instead to digest and reflect upon the events and thoughts that had just occurred. I took a well-deserved nap before we headed back to the AC for the final evening session...
Brenda Salter-Mcneil gave the night's talk, highlighting the extreme importance of truly tearing down all barriers hindering us in doing the Kingdom's work. I didn't realize until then that even I had some things and people in my life that were keeping me from loving fully and unconditionally. I can't list them here, but suffice it to say, it was about time I let go.
We rang in the new year 17,000 strong in the stadium to the tune of some Latin dance numbers (courtesy of the worship team,) and then... Urbana 09 was over.
Check back within the next few days for a final summary of the week... I need to digest some broader thoughts before I relay them back to you. Thanks for reading - see you in a few (most likely tomorrow.)