Urbana is a once-every-three-years event sponsored by InterVarsity (IV). It brings together between 10 and 16 thousand college students from around the globe to St. Louis around the theme of Global Missions. This year was historic for TCKs as Urbana officially opened space for them in the form of plenary sessions, a dedicated lounge (sans shoes, which was appreciated greatly), discussion sessions and times of prayer, reflection, and debriefing.
Interaction International’s new Executive Director, Michael Pollock, was in the thick of things wearing his other hat as Director of Daraja. Michael’s involvement included leading a plenary session, co-leading a second session with Rachel Kuhn, leading a discussion on Relationships and Mobility in addition to several of the prayer and debriefing sessions. Between official sessions he met with individual students, adult TCKs at the conference and former China colleagues.
For Michael, the closing evening of the conference marked a significant threshold. At midnight on January 1st while the conference hit it’s crescendo of praise and worship to the God of the Cosmos, and to Jesus, the acknowledged King, it also marked the marked the official beginning of his tenure as Interaction Int’l director.
The Urbana team, led by InterVarsity staffer Rachel Kuhn, was made up of an all TCK ‘caste’ of Katya Schmidt, Josh Newsham, Melissa Miller, Nathan Leung, Julie Hamiter, and her daughter, Amelia Hamiter. Together their childhoods spanned Asia, South America, Africa and the South Pacific. Most importantly, they represented those whose childhoods (and lives!) were deeply impacted by the decision their parents made to say ‘yes’ to overseas mission.
Interaction International looks forward to future opportunities at Urbana conferences and hopes to work more closely with InterVarsity and the mission focus they promote.