It was just as I remembered it. . . the Jubilee Conference that is. 2500 college students and their leaders gathered in Pittsburgh for a weekend full of learning what it means to integrate their faith into all of life. It didn't disappoint. It was good to be there again and to be challenged in my own faith, even though I'm a few decades removed from my college years!
Highlights for me? Here's a few. . . in no special order. Seeing Derek Melleby of our College Transition Initiative deliver some amazing content to a group of high school seniors and juniors. Byron Borger of Hearts and Minds Books and the HUGE book table that he set up this year. Byron never ceases to amaze me! It's fun to watch him get up on the stage during the main sessions to highlight books. The students love him and he's become a kind of folk hero at Jubilee! Saleem Ghubril need a bang-up job as the emcee. He dropped some really funny lines this time around. My favorites? When he called Byron a "a big hunk of sexy burning love" and his mention of finally finishing one of Byron's recommendation from last year, Where's Waldo? Gabe Lyons talking about our role as "restorers." I don't know his name, but the guy who played the Hammond B3 on stage on Saturday night. . . WOW!
But my most favorite moment came at the end of the weekend when the folks from Compassion International told us that the students at Jubilee stepped up and chose to sponsor 164 children in Compassion projects around the globe! That was awesome. It was my privilege to represent Compassion on Saturday night from the main stage. It was also my great privilege to see God move in the hearts of those students. They have taken the challenge to do justice in one tangible way.
I want to encourage those students who are new sponsors - and everyone of you who sponsors a Compassion child - to consider how important it is to write to your sponsored child. I saw how important that is to those kids when I visited with many during our trip to Kenya and Rwanda. Last week, I discovered this moving little video on YouTube, as Shaun Groves sits with Eliud (who happens to live in the same Mathare slum as our child Ibrahim)as Eliud looks into a little video camera and thanks his sponsor Nick. Give it a look. . . there's nothing I can add to it. And if you are moved to sponsor a Compassion child, just click on the banner to the left of this post.