For my whole life, I have sought to love and to be loved in return. When I was younger, the school hallways that I walked through only exposed my insecurities as I saw so many of my peers joke around and relate well with each other, while I often felt alone and unloved, being shy and not free to be myself.
My life changed when Jesus walked into the story. It happened like this: I was at a youth retreat sitting on the ground during a time of communal prayer, I wasn’t doing or saying anything special, just sitting there like everyone else, but deep within me I experienced His personal love for me. I knew at that moment I was loved for who I was, just as I was, Maria. This changed my whole perspective and opened my eyes to the truths that I had often heard growing up- that Jesus loved me and died for me. I now knew and experienced that I was loved, and I wanted to respond to that love. It was around this time I made the definite decision to be committed and serious to my relationship with God. With all the determination of my 14-year-old self, I wanted to become a saint!
Through the years, I have continued to learn and experience that there is no one who could love me as much as Him. In Him I have truly found everything that I am looking for and desire! This is what continues to drive my passion and love for the mission of CCO. I wish everyone could know and encounter this amazing Love that has been transforming my life. Keeping Jesus central has brought me to places I never would have imagined I could go, to do things I would not have thought I was capable of doing, and to have the greatest love story I could ever imagine. It is so exciting when we let Him guide the way. I’ve seen that when I can abandon myself to Him, He shows me His love through the most amazing surprises. He’s great!
My role in CCO is as the Team Leader at the University of Victoria. This means I am in charge of growing the Victoria campus movement entrusted to me, by building up my CCO staff missionaries and our students at UVic to be leaders in evangelization. Through them, and the people that they will, in turn, build up, we hope the whole world will be reached and renewed in Christ. This is such an exciting role, where I get to work on a team with some of the most amazing people who are passionate to see His Kingdom come, and as I see God working daily in our midst, leading us and directing our mission on campus. By God’s action and goodness, we are privileged to see students encounter Jesus, have their lives changed, and never be the same. There’s nothing I would rather do 🙂
ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS
Please pray for the mission at UVic, for all the students who do not know Christ, or do not know him well enough, that they would have the grace to desire to get involved with CCO. For them to have a deeper encounter of the living God, that their lives be transformed by the love of Christ, and that a future generation of builders, of leaders, would emerge and change the world. Pray that they may continue to grow in abandonment to God’s will for their lives; to go, to do, to say, whatever God may be calling them to.
Lastly, please pray for my team of missionaries, that they may be strong and courageous, with unwavering faith in God to do all things through them, and to be utterly determined to give their all to Christ and to the mission of His Church.
May God be praised forever!
Please pray also for our many students struggling with family problems, addictions, depression, or mental health. That they may be grounded in God’s love for them through every trial and difficulty. Thank you!