A current undergraduate student shares her perspective on Moody’s annual Urban Emphasis Week. In our 125th year we are grateful that our founder’s legacy is evident in week-long events like this one.
By Anna De Zarn, freshman, International Ministry
While preparing for future ministry at Moody Bible Institute, it can be easy for students to forget about the ministry opportunities available to us in the mission field God’s given us now: Chicago. With so many different neighborhoods and cultures, this city is chock-full of needs waiting to be met.
In an effort to get Moody students out and recognizing these needs, the Urban Ministry department brought to campus a rejuvenated sense of D.L. Moody’s heart for the urban setting. In late February, the annual Urban Emphasis Week hit the scene with ministry-focused chapels and neighborhood tours led by senior Urban Ministry majors.
The opportunity to step off campus to see the city was an important one for many of us, like my friend Anna Leet, senior Urban Ministry major. “We’re already in the city, but some people have never been in the neighborhoods,” she said. “If we’re not getting out, we’re not going to see [all of] God’s creation. I hope students became more aware of the people around them.”
And I think this hope was reached. Urban Emphasis Week was an encouraging reminder that we, as Christians, should always be watching for ways to minister to the people around us in our current stage of life. For me, an International Ministries major, it’s easy to slip into the mindset that my ministry begins when I graduate, when I’m overseas. Not so. Throughout the week, chapel speaker Doug Nichols, founder and international director emeritus of Action International Ministries, countered this notion by pointing out ways to serve by praying, working on projects, giving, going and doing NOW. Nichols directed us to one central point: choose specific ways to minister and “trust God to do them for His glory!”
D.L. Moody encourages us with this same mentality of action, a mentality he maintained throughout his own urban ministry: “If we have got the true love of God shed abroad in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do.”