I always had a desire to change the world. I did a political science degree because I felt knowing how the world works would help me change it. I had serious dreams of winning the Nobel Peace Prize one day. Now, I know that God always knew the great things I would accomplish through him.
In my third year as a student at the University of Ottawa, I left my contact information on a survey during mission week, was followed-up, and joined a faith study. It was in the first lesson of this faith study that my life changed and I began my relationship with God. I understood for the first time that God loved me personally.
Almost instantly God gave me a missionary heart. I remember walking to class after that first lesson seeing students around campus and thinking “These people have no idea how much God loves them!” and wanting to stop them in their tracks and tell them. Only one week after that first lesson I wrote in my journal “God, your love is amazing, what I desire more than anything is for others to know you love them, use me as an instrument!”.
So, with my heart newly filled with God’s love, I applied for the Impact Canada mission project in Halifax (summer 2004). Up until then, I was still very much on the way to a career in International Affairs. I was desperate to be a big player in saving the world. But this mission changed my perspective.
On one of the first nights of mission, the entire team was gathered for Eucharistic Adoration. We were asked to each take our turns to kneel in front of the Blessed Sacrament and give God permission to use us to change lives that summer. As I knelt down, I heard God say to me in the quiet of my heart “I want you to work for me. Come, I will make you a fisher of men.” I knew then, he wanted me to join staff, but I did not want to believe it. How could I change the world if I stay hidden on campus? So, I came up with my own interpretation of his word to me. Surely, he meant that I would work in the world and share my faith with my friends at work.
It wasn’t until the very last week of mission that I understood what God was calling me to. During this week, the entire national staff team was in Halifax for their National Staff Gathering. I had never been exposed to the entire movement before and it really struck me that I was part of something bigger than my little mission team, and my little campus. And as I was being introduced to all of them, I was thinking how I had the best summer of my life and met the most incredible 57 people because of the work of these missionaries. Then, I said to myself “I want to be part of making another 57 impacters”.
I understood there, that God wasn’t crushing my dreams by calling me to CCO! I know that what the world needs the most is Love. Every person has the right to an opportunity to respond to the Gospel and chose to live Christ-centred lives. I work for CCO because I know our disposition and methods are effective in making this happen. I believe the world can be reached with God’s love if we proclaim the Gospel in a clear and simple way and equip others to do the same. It is through mobilizing leaders with a heart for the lost that I will have the greatest impact. I am ever grateful that God answered the desire of my heart and called me to CCO, a movement that will change the world.