When others are suffering the effects of foul odors, I am always blissfully unaware. I have a superpower which many people find hard to believe: I was born without a sense of smell… as in, I don’t smell anything. I never have, and I never will… nothing. And yes, I can still taste, just not as precisely as everyone else. Thankfully the Lord calls us to taste and see, and not taste and smell!
I got my first taste of CCO at the University of Ottawa while studying Mechanical Engineering. I had grown up in a very faith-filled Catholic family, but in Grade 11 I began to experience significant doubts in my faith and asked God to show me if He is real. At a high school retreat that year, I had an encounter with God and chose to recommit my life to Jesus, placing my trust in His mercy. After having experienced, in a profound way, the reality of God’s personal love me, all I wanted to do was help others encounter that love for themselves. When I met CCO in university, and saw young people sharing their faith with great joy and effectiveness, it didn’t take long for me to hear God calling me to work full-time for the movement.
I’m the Team Leader at Memorial University. I’ve had the blessing of working on 4 campuses across Canada: Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Queen’s University in Kingston and now at Memorial University in St John’s, NL.
One of my greatest joys as a missionary is whenever I have the opportunity to pray with a student, to open their heart to Christ, or help them go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s also been very fulfilling being able to guide other missionaries and help them to grow in their roles through my role as team leader.
We’ve been blessed to see some beautiful conversions here in St John’s since we began our ministry here. One of the young women we reached out to was an exchange student from Brazil. Through the Discovery Faith Study and a retreat that we put on in the fall, this young woman encountered God’s love in a profound way, and felt liberated to live with Christ at the centre of her life. This new freedom and joy that she found inspired her to want to share her faith with others when she returned home. So after returning to Brazil, she promptly started a Discovery Faith Study with her parents and plans to lead others through it in the future. It is wonderful to see God using our ministry to reach people across the world with the message of God’s saving love.
Being on staff has motivated me to grow as a leader, doing things that require me to step out of my comfort zone. For example I’ve been challenged to speak about God’s love in front of large groups, and gained the courage to introduce myself to students I don’t know with the hope of sharing the Gospel with them. It has also really helped me to trust more deeply in God because, on a daily basis, I can see so clearly how powerless I am to change people’s hearts. It’s only if I have God’s grace working through me that our mission succeeds.
ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS
That my relationship with the Lord would always grow stronger, so that He may use me more powerfully.
For the missionaries on my team, and the university students we serve.