After my conversion at the end of my first year of university, things began to change as I started to make room for God in my life. It was no longer about what I wanted, or what I thought others expected from me. I started asking God what He wanted me to do with my life.
In my second year of university I was able to live out my faith, but I started to question whether what I was doing made any difference in the world. All of my time was spent in the gym (playing on the university’s volleyball team) and in class. I would think of Mother Teresa and how she gave her whole life up for the poor and how every moment of her day was used to serve God. I was looking forward to my university days being done thinking that later I could be finally free to serve God.
Around the same time that I was questioning the meaning of what I was doing I met Athletes in Action on campus and had the opportunity to get involved with them. (Athletes in Action is a branch of Power to Change, a Christian campus ministry). Through my involvement with them my desire to share my faith grew. I went to one of their National Training Camps where one night we prayed for university students across the country. On a big screen in the room was projected a map of Canada, and every university was represented by a dot. When I saw the dot that represented my university, the University of Winnipeg at the time, my heart exploded and I understood then and there that Jesus had died for every person on that campus. Very specific people came to mind from my everyday life and I understood that I had the responsibility of sharing with them the Gospel message, and I started to pray more for them. I understood that God did not want me to wait until I was done university to share my faith – He wanted me to do it now! He wanted me to live out my faith and share it exactly where I was.
A couple months later I found myself at World Youth Day in Toronto at an event that CCO was putting on. It was a night of Eucharistic adoration and there were thousands of young people kneeling on the concrete floor before the Blessed Sacrament – Jesus! At the end of the night the friend I was with handed me the pamphlet of CCO which read “Building leaders for the renewal of the world”, and “helping university students share their faith”. It was love at first sight! I knew this was what my university needed, and this was what I needed – a movement that was going to help me share my Catholic faith with my friends.
Four years after my first encounter with CCO, and a B.A. and B.Ed. later, I was finally able to fully say Yes! to becoming a full-time missionary. I was 23 years old and was excited about changing the world. I knew God had amazing plans for the salvation of this world and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted God to use me in building leaders that would embrace their call, and I desired nothing less out of this life than to share the joy and hope that I have found in Jesus!