My Vision and Calling
When I was in my first year at Carleton University, I came across some students involved with Campus for Christ. I met a few people, filled out a survey, and was contacted a few days later. The next week, I attended their weekly meeting. The student leader at the time spoke about the mission and vision of Campus for Christ. He said "We're not just another social club; we're here to change the world." That was enough for me. I didn't miss another weekly meeting until my fourth year.
The summer after my first year, I traveled as part of a missions project with Campus for Christ to Panama. I almost decided not to go, but those six weeks changed my life. We spent most of our time working on university campuses, introducing students to a personal relationship with Jesus and discipling them. One student I met was Richard. I shared the good news about Jesus with Richard and he believed it and invited Jesus to take control of his life. Just three days later, Richard took the initiative to share the good news he had received with another student, who also accepted Christ into his life. Not only did I experience God working through me and around me in the lives of other people in powerful and miraculous ways, but I also experienced more joy and fulfillment in working on campus with those students than I ever had before. For me, it was a confirmation from God that He was calling me into full-time ministry work after university.
Throughout my time at Carleton and two more summer missions trips to Panama, God grew my heart for students and my vision for how they can truly change the world. They are our future politicians, business leaders, athletes, journalists, lawyers, doctors and church leaders. They will shape our world and influence millions. What if, in the process, they helped millions to discover what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus? What if they used their influence for Jesus to change things like political corruption, war, famine, poverty and AIDS? What if they used their influence to save lives, both physically and spiritually? I believe that changing the university can mean changing the world.
I also became keenly aware of the urgency of the Gospel during my time at Carleton as at least one student from the university died every year that I was there. One student, a first-year named Nadia, went missing from residence and was found two months later in the river because she had taken her own life. Nadia had attended an outreach event organized by some of the women in our campus ministry about a month before she disappeared and had requested follow-up. Unfortunately, nobody was able to connect with her before she decided her life was no longer worth living. The following year, a man who had been talking with Nadia online and had tried to convince her to kill herself was finally caught by police. The next morning, I interviewed Nadia's mother for a campus radio program. She told me, almost in tears "I hope he gets the maximum penalty he can possibly get for what he did, but it won't bring me peace. I will never have peace from this."
I believe Nadia's mother can have peace. I believe her daughter could have had peace as well. But only through Jesus Christ. I can't help wondering what could have happened if we had been able to meet with Nadia and she had invited Christ into her life. Could she have influenced millions for Jesus instead of by taking her own life?
My belief in the vision of Campus for Christ and in the urgency of sharing the hope of Christ with others led me to spend a year following my graduation working full-time in Panama as part of the campus movements there. I then decided to join full-time staff with Power to Change (Campus for Christ's umbrella organization) in Canada. I have been asked to join the campus team at the University of Calgary because of a need for male staff there. But in order to do this, I am required to develop a team of financial supporters to sustain me in my ministry. I must raise $4097/month, which includes my living and ministry expenses, in order to begin working amongst the students in Calgary. Would you consider how you can play a role in this awesome ministry, helping to change the world by helping students discover Jesus?