Irena Vélez

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¡Hola familia!

My name is Irena Vélez and I live in Ottawa, Ontario. I am the first of three girls born to amazing parents: Elina and Perfecto. In my free time, I enjoy doing martial arts, painting, drawing, reading, going to mass, playing soccer, travelling, and spending time with family and friends. Currently, I am in my first year at Carleton University, studying journalism.

This year I have been accepted to go on a mission to Honduras with Catholic Christian Outreach, an organization I have been very involved with on campus. CCO is a university movement dedicated to the evangelization of youth. On this I mission will receive training in leadership development, spiritual formation, and how to effectively share the Catholic faith with others.

Growing up, I was raised in a Catholic household and went to mass every Sunday but I did not have any faith of my own. I knew nothing about religion, I doubted there was a God, I did not listen in church, and I only went to mass because my parents wanted me to. As I began to go deeper into my studies at school, I quickly realized history was a passion of mine and I couldn’t keep my nose out of history textbooks. Soon enough, I found myself researching a lot about different religions and their historical connections. I was very attracted to the historicity of the Bible and all the evidence there is on the existence and life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This drew me into my faith and made me question even more. In 2016, I was given the opportunity to go to World Youth Day in Poland. I thought it would be a super fun trip with my friends and jumped at the chance, but it was more than just that. I experienced love and community like I never had before. By seeing thousands of young people just like me praising God, my heart yearned for a relationship with Him and for the first time in my life, I felt a calling. I came home changed and I never expected this to influence my life so much. On my first day at Carleton University, I signed up with CCO and started my first faith study not long afterwards. I started attending all their events, including a fall weekend retreat, Eucharistic adoration nights, on-campus praise and worship, and other community events. I learned how Jesus accepts and loves every single person, no matter our pasts. I learned how truly good life with God is and how much true happiness it brings me. My faith has been strengthened and I’ve never felt so close to God in my life. I am still a work in progress and I am still growing with Christ, but I am happy about how far I’ve come. I will do anything God tells me to do and go anywhere he tells me to go, so here I come Honduras! I am called to serve God through a mission trip and I gladly accept this challenge with which He has blessed me.

I want nothing more than to share Christ’s love and message with the world. I have experienced the greatness of God and I feel that everyone should have the opportunity to accept God into their lives. Please help me go on this mission to Honduras and consider supporting me, through either donation or prayer. I am ever grateful for this opportunity and all those who help me achieve it.

Thank you so much and may God bless you!

Irena Vélez

We lead evangelization missions around the world.