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Praising God for His Goodness at Urbana '22


It’s with joy that I share a praise report of God’s goodness to the team that Lake Ave sent to Urbana Student Missions Conference ’22 in Indianapolis.

This church has a strong history of mission and my heart is to continue the heartbeat of missional activity amongst our college and young professionals at Lake. Our team of six diligently prepared mentally and spiritually and God rewarded that ‘pressing in.’

Over the course of 5 days, we were inspired by courageous and sacrificial saints working in global mission, we heard student testimonies of faithful surrender to Jesus, we received
prayer ministry that had us in tears, we felt multi-lingual and cultural worship in our
bodies which moved us into worship of the King of Kings, we soaked morning and night
in Scripture and our hearts were drawn towards Jesus through the Word and story
of the early church. And we strengthened our friendships and had fun as a team!!

We return enlivened in our attitude towards mission, humbled by the scope of Jesus’ activity in the world, hopeful for the next faithful step of discipleship in our own lives and burdened

to share the love and freedom of the Gospel here and now in the heart of LA.

Please read through the quotes to get a feel for some of the individual work God did.

We couldn’t do this without your financial support and prayer covering. I am so blown away that Lake Church and our friends and family rose to the challenge.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your investment in the NextGen and God’s global heart.



“… there is one specific memory I cannot leave out. Of the 6,000 attendees at the conference, there were many who came without previously knowing Jesus. But after 2 ½ days, an invitation was given for people to stand up if they were ready to commit their lives to Christ. Approximately 300 individuals stood, and they were each handed white flags to wave as a gesture of surrender. I will never forget those several minutes in which young people stood up throughout the convention hall, seeing white flags pop up one after another, the thunderous applause and cheering and tears of joy uncontainable. With that memory forever sealed within me, I am all the more eager to participate in God’s ever-expanding Kingdom ministry.”

~ Keith Harmel

 “In my generation, we talk a lot about FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. As I approach my 30s, I find myself scrolling through my social media feed, and seeing images of how anyone and everyone seems to be doing things that make one wonder, what am I missing out on? Rev. Choung brought up a new term: FOBO – Fear of Better Options, and that we are afraid to commit because we fear that there is another, better, option. But he cautioned that “when you keep your options open, you’ll never find what you’re looking for”. He talked of relationships (yay) as not being built on certainty but TRUST. I realized that in my journey as a young adult, I have looked at my life in two-year cycles. Where I made decisions based on the certainty of the next two years. It made me pose the question “is there a better option than Jesus?” As I said this, Dr. Choung said “All responses to TRUE LOVE requires SURRENDER” … I realized that I struggled to surrender my past to the Lord. Not in the sense of what I did, but what I experienced. And I realized that I needed to surrender that too.”

~ John Roferos

 “During our small groups, we studied Acts, and I was able to hear from God through the scripture. In Acts 8:26-40, Philip is instructed by the Holy Spirit to walk by the chariot where the Ethiopian eunuch was, and through his obedience he was able to share the gospel. I saw how God was moving in the Ethiopian eunuch’s life before and after he met Philip, and was convicted that God works in people’s lives before and after we meet them, and that my role was simply to obey his calling when I hear it. I was convicted to continue in my discipleship in Christ through reading the Word daily, deepening my prayer life, and regularly and joyfully communing with God so that I can be aware of God’s voice.”

~ Christine Lum

 “Thank you so much for supporting me in prayer and financially to help send me to Urbana 2022! My name is Ricky, and I am a Christian working as a young professional in the tech field. After God had saved me in 2014, he has been leading me to see his desire for no one to perish, but for all to be saved, in my small context, but even more, in all of his creation. In 2016, I had been convicted through faithful preaching to consider following Christ to the ends of the earth that he may be known, and since then, God has grown my heart more and more for spending my life lavishly for the kingdom in the same way Christ gave himself lavishly to love me. For me, Urbana 2022 was a continuation of the conversations and reflections on missions that had been going on for many years… I was challenged to grow in three significant ways. First, I was challenged to see people not by their felt needs, but by their spiritual need, because this is how God sees us as he pursued each person in Scripture…. Secondly, I was challenged to know and love God’s word so deeply that it becomes the means through which I live…. Lastly, I was encouraged to be faithful to what God has allowed me to

steward in the present….”

~ Ricky Pan

“I can say with confidence that I was meant to go to Urbana. I made great connections with missions’ organizations. I’m sure these will be helpful as I decide where to go on long-term, international missions. But God knew I needed something else more. God always knows our needs better than we do. As I looked around the exhibition hall at Urbana, I was stopped by a couple of exhibitors. God actually used one of them to prophecy over me. He said that God wanted me all to Himself for a while, referencing Psalm 23. I thanked this man for his prayer and continued about my day. Within 24-48 hours, I started to feel under the weather. I ended up missing some of the evening sessions in order to stay back at the hotel and rest. Upon my return to California, I was tested for COVID and strep. After receiving negative results, my doctor tested me for mono. When I learned I was to be tested for this, I laughed. What a great way for God to get me alone with Him. I tested positive for this and laughed a little more. God is good. He didn’t have to give me insight into what the next few weeks would look like. Because of this, I have peace. Yes, I will have followed up meetings with people I met, and yes, I will still be doing long-term, international missions because I believe God has called me to this. But first things first, alone time with our God.”

~ Rebekah Keagy

 “Urbana 22 had powerful speakers relaying God’s ask for all of us to become obedient servants that take action and next steps instead of only acting when we have complete certainty. So, after Urbana, I can say I'm eager to surrender my doubts and inaction into God’s hands. As James Choung shared with us, “True love requires some form of surrender” and I believe that when we truly love God, we accept that our lives won't always have a floodlight of certainty, but we can still walk-in faith with the lamplight of his love!”

~ Nick Ong