The sound of 18,000 cheering students helped kick off InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Urbana 12. While the cheering crowd was a culmination of years of planning, Urbana 12 faced problems. Spiritual warfare? Maybe.
The largest student missions conference in the world had a MAJOR glitch. Urbana 12's communications director Bethany Horvath says, "Our registration and check-in on site require using Urbana.org. Due to high capacity there, and due to people outside of St. Louis and outside on-site Urbana using the Web site, our servers just couldn't take it anymore."
While Urbana officials discovered the problem quickly, it took most of the overnight to fix it.
Did spiritual warfare have an impact? "Yes," says Horvath. "As frustrating and disheartening as it can be, it's been a good reminder to us as staff that God has something really great [for us], and the enemy really wants to affect that and keep it from happening."
During a staff meeting, the director of operations Rob Knight asked Intervarsity staff to pray. Horvath says, "That alone helped everyone see that this is a battleground and although we are all here for the advancement of God's glory and Kingdom, there are spiritual forces against that."
Horvath says with conversion rates, "the highest ever in our history...no wonder."
Other issues: a student bus stuck in a ditch, computer hardware crashes, and technical issues with musicians.
Pray that God will thwart the attempts of the enemy to discourage, defeat, or distract the staff and students at Urbana 12.