Over 800 youth and college students gathered in San Diego on Tuesday evening for the annual ‘Higher Calling’ Conference, a missions conference hosted by the college ministry SOON Movement (also known as Korea Campus Crusade for Christ).

The annual Higher Calling Conference, which will be taking place from December 20 to 23, aims to “mobilize and equip the emerging generation to actively take part in fulfilling the Great Commission,” according to the organizers. This year’s conference in particular will be focusing on the theme, ‘Resurgence,’ with the theme verse Ezekiel 37:5-6.

"What we need is not an increase in numbers, works, or acts of human origin -- we need a resurgence of the Holy Spirit to revive the dead and dying among us," the organizers stated.

Jim Munroe, performer of 'The Maze,' speaker, and author who uses magic to share the gospel, was featured as the first main plenary speaker. He acknowledged that seemingly random circumstances in life, particularly the bad or “dead end” ones, may stir doubts and prevent people from believing in God, as he shared he initially did as well. But Munroe, using his magic, “put the idea of random to the test” with the audience throughout the plenary session.

“Could there be something bigger going on going on behind the scenes, beyond the world we experience with our five senses?” he ultimately asked. “That all of the seemingly random circumstances are drawing you to something bigger?”

Several dozens of students approached the stage during the session to pray to commit to live for Christ.

Munroe is among six main plenary session speakers featured throughout the conference, including Jessica Harris, author of ‘Beggar’s Daughter’; Sean McDowell, author and assistant professor in Christian apologetics at Biola University; Shane Sebastian, executive director of Global Missions with Cru; and David Oh, senior pastor at highland Cornerstone Church.

This year’s Higher Calling Conference also features 12 elective seminars on topics such as vocational calling; faith and work; depression; sexuality and purity; and apologetics, among others. Youth students will attend separate sessions during the elective seminar and leadership training portions designed for college students.

A 24-hour prayer room and private counseling sessions called ‘Soul Care’ are also being made available throughout the duration of the conference.

SOON Movement has hosted missions conferences on an annual basis since 1996. While the missions conferences were initially for members of the college ministry, SOON Movement has opened up the conferences to youth and college students of local churches outside of the ministry since 2010.