Billed as the largest and longest running youth missions conference in the world, this year’s Urbana conference will be held from Dec. 27-31 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Hosted every three years in St. Louis, the Urbana conference attracts more than 16,000 “students, faculty, recent graduates, pastors, church and ministry leaders.”

The purpose of the conference is to create room for attendees to discern their call within the larger, global work of God’s church.

Urbana 18 will include many influential speakers including one name that is familiar within Christian Reformed Church circles – Calvin College and Seminary alumna Anne Zaki.

Zaki currently teaches at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo. Born in Egypt, she moved to Canada as a teenager. After earning a degree from Calvin College, Zaki earned two master degrees, first  one from American University in Cairo, and then a Master of Divinity from Calvin Seminary (2009).

Zaki’s variety of vocational opportunities have led her from Michigan to British Columbia to Egypt, pastoring and teaching.

Zaki said she is excited to participate in this year’s Urbana Conference. When asked about why she said yes to this opportunity, she pointed out the rich history of the conference and the audience it attracts.

“I consider it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a team that is wholly dedicated to proclaim God’s Word in a way that inspires and equips this generation to give their whole lives to God’s  global mission.”

The timing of the conference at the end of the calendar year also offers a unique opportunity for Zaki within her speaking timeslot at the conference. Pulling from Revelation 22:6-21, Zaki’s time on stage will use the backdrop of the new year to point toward the hope we find in Christ.

“My talk will be centered on Jesus as the Faithful Witness, and our relationship with him marked by hopeful longing, where the Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come’, and Jesus says ‘I am coming soon,'” says Zaki.

“My talk and the whole conference will conclude with our gathering around the Lord’s table on the last evening of 2018, and we will welcome 2019 in prayer and worship with the communion of saints of all times and places.”

To learn more about Anne Zaki and the rest of the speakers, or to register for the conference, visit