Gabrielle Raymond

Campus Missionary Intern, Concordia University
gabrielle.raymond@cco.ca
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I grew up in the Okanagan valley of BC, calling Kelowna my home where I lived with my parents and three younger siblings. We all have fire in our veins so we have a tendency to *discuss* passionately but by the grace of God, we love even harder.

Throughout my childhood and early teen years, I was involved in our church community and did all the things a Catholic did, but I didn’t really understand why. That was frustrating for me, a young girl that always wanted to know what was going on and never wanted to follow the crowd. Looking back, I see that as an incredible blessing; the Holy Spirit was working to draw me to the heart of God by drawing me away from the pursuits of the world. When I was 12 years old, I was asked to choose the Catholic faith and a relationship with Jesus for myself. I took this seriously and wanted to make an informed choice! Around that time I attended a retreat and I was inspired by the group of young adults that were serving during the weekend. I could tell that there was something different about them; their joy was different than that of the world. I wanted to have whatever they had, so I took the next right step.

That decision led me to a season of deep thirst to know Jesus and His church better. I had experienced the incredible love, inexplicable peace, and profound joy that can only come from God and I wanted more. Years later, when I got to university, I knew that I wanted to be part of a Catholic young adult group. The only problem was: there was none. The next right step I saw before me was to gather those I knew and start our own group where we could accompany each other, grow in faith, and serve together. But as the years went on, I knew that the Lord wanted so much more for Kelowna and our young adult community. I was willing to do whatever He asked of me, I just didn’t know what that was. Shortly after praying that prayer of abandonment, I encountered a CCO missionary. When I heard about what they were doing on university campuses and how they were leading people to encounter Christ, it felt like all the puzzle pieces were falling into place. This was the answer to my prayer. The Lord was clearly saying: CCO is the next right step.

A couple of years of CCO Connect ministry, one mission trip to Cameroon, and many prayers later, I have chosen to follow Jesus’ call to be a full-time missionary with CCO. Alongside my fellow missionaries, supporters, and Jesus Himself, I am boldly walking onto the Concordia University campus this fall to proclaim the Gospel and accompany our students to encounter the Living God. I am thrilled to serve the Church in this way. I feel so at home within the CCO family and I have great expectations that we will experience epic conversions and God restoring lives, every day. I am so excited to build a legacy of faith and of missionary disciples in Québec!

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you. – St. John Paul the Great

ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS

That in my life God would become greater and I would become less.

For my team and the students we serve; that we would all continue to grow deeper in love with Jesus.

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