After spending a hot and green Christmas in Liberia, West Africa with my family, I was given a cold awakening when I landed in St. Louis, Missouri for the Urbana mission conference the following day from my return to the States. It was quite the shock temperature wise, going from tank tops and flowy skirts to as many layers as I could possibly put on. However, there were layers of comfort in being surrounded by those who love Jesus and who love missions and who know what it means to say constant goodbyes and hellos. I was oh so thankful for sweet time with my kindred spirits from h.e.a.r.t. and the opportunities to tell the Urbana students about the transformative h.e.a.r.t. experience.

Some of the beautiful moments include the ginormous bookstore, listening to Francis Chan and David Platt, a gorgeous funnel cake, etc. But my favorite experience was meeting Daniel, who livened our lives up by being located at the booth across the aisle. Our friendship started with sharing funnel cake. It then escalated to playing air basketball and having lightsaber battles with our scanners. This middle aged Korean man had such a gentle, youthful spirit, was incredibly passionate about his organization, and truly hungered after God. He would ask anyone walking up and down the aisles to come closer and pray. His generosity and dependency on God reminded me almost of childlike obedience in running towards Jesus. It was good to remember the importance of laughter and silliness in the midst of dependency on God.

Helen Davidson

h.e.a.r.t. alumna fall 2014