Laura Bell

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Hi, my name is Laura Bell and I am a third-year student at Ryerson University in Toronto. I grew up in Brampton, Ontario and I go to St. Leonard’s Parish. I am really excited to share with you that I will be going on a mission trip to Cameroon, Africa with Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), this May.

CCO is a university student movement dedicated to evangelization, one person at a time. It wasn’t until I joined Ryerson Catholics (run by CCO) in my first semester of second year, that I realized I had a missionary heart. CCO took me in with open arms and helped me claim my Faith as my own. It was the first time at school, that I really felt like I was wanted, chosen, and that I had a greater purpose. Ryerson Catholics immediately felt like home. I have both taken and led Faith Studies. I am also one of the Core members of our Women’s Ministry.

Christmas 2017, I went to CCO’s Young Adult Conference called, Rise Up. Through the veneration of the Relic of St. Francis Xavier, I heard the Lord calling me to apply as a Totus Tuus Missionary (Summer, 2018), with the Archdiocese of Toronto. CCO’s formation techniques equipped me to claim my identity as a missionary of Christ and prepared me to apply.

Serving on mission as a Totus Tuus Missionary at home was a blessing! It was the first time in my life where I felt like I could be unapologetically myself. I felt so free! I claimed my Faith not just as something I believe in, but as a way of living life. Mission helped me realize that even though I don’t know what happens in the future, I just need to do the next right thing. One of the ways that I know something feels right (a part of God’s Will) is if it feels like home! I can live out my missionary identity right now!

I knew a CCO Mission was the next right thing to do because it will stretch me and will require more trust from me to God When the Lord first planted the desire in my heart to discern about applying, I wasn’t sure why. But I trusted that He put Cameroon in my heart for a reason.

Overtime, the Lord provided many unexpected, affirmations that revealed God chose Cameroon for me. The first affirmation that initiated this discernment was in a Faith Study follow-up, that just so happened to be on the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier. I prayed a Novena to St. Francis Xavier for mission. During our closing prayer, my Faith Study leader said he felt called by the Holy Spirit to suggest Cameroon for me to apply to mission…without knowing I was already praying about it. It was such a genuine moment, completely driven by the Holy Spirit!

But my “epiphany” moment (the moment that convinced me this was right), happened when I shifted my discernment to the Saints. St. Catherine of Siena’s Feast Day falls on April 29 – the original first day of the Cameroon mission trip. I was going through an old journal from Rise Up 2017, when I opened to a random page where I wrote in big letters, “WHAT’S YOUR MISSION?” Right underneath was a quote by St. Catherine of Siena – “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” That’s it! That’s when I knew Cameroon was for me.

The CCO Apostle’s Prayer says, “I will go anywhere you want me to go. I will do anything you want me to do. I will say anything you want me to say.” I’ve prayed these words so many times, but could I actually do it? This is my opportunity to say, “God, I give you my YES!”

During this mission I will receive training in leadership development, Spiritual formation, and will learn how to share my Faith effectively with others. To participate in this mission, we are responsible to raise a portion of the cost through tax-deductible donations to cover training, accommodations, food, and transportation, in the amount of $4,200.

Whether it be financially or prayerfully, I would kindly appreciate your support in this mission. Thank you for your time, prayers, and consideration. If you have further questions about the mission or if you would like me to pray for you, don’t hesitate to contact me at God Bless!

In Christ,
Laura Bell

We lead evangelization missions around the world.