It's one of the most amazing gatherings – the 'Olympics' of outreach conferences. URBANA is held every three years and assembles over 20,000 college students who seek to find out where they might fit in to make a difference in this crazy world.
Three years ago I came as an attendee. I marveled at all the breakout sessions. Quite a few were poorly attended, but those about at-risk, orphaned and vulnerable children were brimming with people and overflowing into the hallways. The rooms simply couldn't contain the huge interest and excitement about reaching out to hurting children around the globe.
This year is no different, except that I'm here with a World Orphans team as an exhibitor. Even with all hands on deck, we simply can't keep up with all the people coming to our booth. It's a non-stop blazing flow of young people asking how they can be a part of helping orphaned and abandoned children worldwide. The past two days have felt like an ongoing conversation, with little pause to rest the vocal chords. It's one exchange to the next, one discussion after another, delivering words and thoughts that will hopefully change lives both here and abroad.
I'm very encouraged by our youth. This is a generation that gets it – that understands the call upon the Church to engage the widow, orphan and refugee . . . that wants to be involved with their hands, feet and hearts.