Attending Urbana 2015 was encouraging as we saw 14,000+ students from all over the world spend time seeking God and researching where/how they might serve Him. Some of the joy of representing MDE was seeing the light bulb go on as people began to understand the structure of MDE and the support it offers. This really is a new idea for missions -- that business/vocational people can be missional with accountability in an unreached community and have the backing and encouragement from MDE as they do it. One young woman had recently completed a 2-year short-term assignment and returned to the US thinking her mission days were probably over. But when we explained how MDE works, she said, "I guess I really could consider that recent job offer in the Middle East then!" As a practicing occupational therapist, she had recently been offered work overseas but hadn't given it serious consideration because she didn't want to go overseas on her own. Now she is rethinking the possibilities.
Several students expressed appreciation for the creation of MDE and the possibilities it presented. That was unexpected! And a few students listened to what we explained and then sent a friend to our booth. The word about MDE was spreading.
Networking was a definite benefit of the time in St. Louis. Connecting with other groups and agencies and sharing the MDE model provided referrals during the conference and potential contacts for partnering. A couple of organizations in particular walked or sent several more people our way. We appreciated their spirit of unity and cooperation as we all work to grow the Kingdom together.
Thanks for your prayers for the event. Continue to pray as we followup with the initial 33 people who want more information.