Melissa Westgeest

Platform Consultant, Ministry Training and Program Development
melissa.westgeest@cco.ca
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Jesus is the best part of my life, but I didn’t always feel that way. Growing up Catholic, I always knew ABOUT God, but I didn’t really know HIM. I thought of God as this all powerful judge watching my every move and keeping score. Because of this I was afraid of him and wanted to keep my distance. I worked hard to earn his approval, hoping to score just enough points to make it into heaven. Thankfully God wasn’t satisfied with this shallow relationship and invited me deeper. During a time of prayer, when I was 19 years old, I sensed God asking me to trust him enough to surrender my life to him. I hesitated, thinking of all the saints who had done this and ended up with much suffering. But then the words of St. Peter came to me from John 6:68 “Lord, To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. I realized in that moment, that surrendering my life to God was the only thing that makes sense. He ‘has the words of eternal life’, to reject him, would be to reject truth, reality and purpose. I was more afraid of a life without purpose, than I was of what God might ask of my life if I gave it to him. I gave my ‘Yes!’ to God that day and it started me on an amazing journey. That yes led me to becoming a missionary with CCO, but the greatest thing that yes led me to was the heart of Jesus. The more I’ve trusted Jesus with my life, the more I’ve seen that the Father is good, that he loves me deeply and personally, and that his grace is sufficient. Even when diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I felt God close to me. When I didn’t know God, suffering was something I feared, but now I see and know that suffering with Jesus is different than suffering without him. When Jesus is close there is joy, even in the midst of suffering. All I want is for others to know the Love and Joy of Christ!

I have served as a missionary with CCO since 2006. I worked on campus for 9 years, then became the associate director for the West, and a team leader trainer. I am now serving as our Platform Manager and Formation Consultant. As platform manager I have the opportunity to make our evangelization resources and training available to anyone, anywhere! And as a formation consultant I’m helping to build a program to further develop our directors and senior managers.

Being on staff with CCO has grown me in so many ways. I have discovered that, with Christ, you can do far more than you could ever ask or imagine! I have accomplished things I never would have thought I could do. But most importantly, being on staff with CCO has grown my personal relationship with Jesus. My entire day, week, month, year is centred around Christ. I need to always be open to the Holy Spirit in order to be led by Christ in my ministry. Talking about God, thinking about God, praying, and the fellowship provided by my fellow staff have all fed and watered my spiritual life. The joys and struggles of being a missionary have brought me face to face with the love of Jesus and – knowing and experiencing his love in such powerful ways – has, in turn, grown my love for him.

ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS

The one thing that can always be prayed for is that I will be led, guided, and protected by the Holy Spirit at all times. And that our students will open their hearts and minds to Christ, not keeping Him to themselves, but courageously sharing Him with others.

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