Maria Arsenault

Campus Leader, University of Victoria
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I grew up most of my years in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, with my family. In my family I have two brothers, Dominique and Lorenz, and my younger sister Clare. I am also an aunt and have two little nieces, Kaylee and Chiara, who live with their daddy and mommy in Saskatoon! They are so cute and I love them so much!

For my whole life, I have sought to love and to be loved in return. When I was younger, the school hallways that I would daily walk 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 sitting on the ground during a time of prayer at a youth retreat, 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. It was around this time I chose and made a definite decision to be committed 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. And, 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!

Currently, I am the Campus Leader at Simon Fraser University where I work, in collaboration with my missionary staff and student leaders, to build a multiplying movement of evangelizers. As leader, I am responsible for moving the campus forward with all of CCO’s goals and vision, while providing support and direction to the other missionaries. It is always a joy to be able to share my faith with anyone who is willing to listen. This is always a huge highlight for me 🙂

“All that matters is that Jesus be proclaimed, for that is what brings me joy” Philippians 1:18

I felt that I really grew in my missionary call through CCO’s summer mission project called IMPACT. I had always wanted to be able to share Jesus with others, but for the longest time never knew how, or was too afraid. It was on mission that I was equipped, empowered, and sent out! Now, it is a tremendous joy for me to be able to help bring others to Jesus and form them as leaders for the renewal of the world!

One of my favorite events has to be Nightfever. This is a night of Adoration with praise and worship where people are invited from the street to enter and say a prayer. During one of these nights, one of my friends realized she wanted to have Jesus with her always for the rest of her life, when she had been uncertain before. Now I see her enthusiasm and passion to share Him with others, too. I have seen our students go out of their way to reach out to strangers, to talk with them about their concerns or struggles, to journey with them through the doors of the church. As a result, I’ve witnessed seemingly random people overcome their fears, take a step of faith, and have a wonderful experience where they really felt the presence of God and were deeply touched as a result. It’s wonderful.

I have grown so much by being a part of CCO’s family of missionaries. The witness of their lives, and how they exemplify leadership, has taught me so much about how to relate and work well with other people. From people skills, to managing conflict, to project planning, while being led by the Spirit through all these things, I continue to be amazed by the amount of growth I experience every year. I am so very thankful for all the formation and leadership skills I have learned from CCO. I know these are life skills that I can bring with me no matter where the future will lead. Whether it is raising a family, or working in the professional world, I know CCO has invested much into me, with the great hope of bringing about the renewal of the world.


Please pray for the mission at SFU! For our students to continue 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.

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!