My wife, Amy, will often tell people that she owes her conversion, her career, and her husband to her involvement with CCO. We met at CCO’s Rise Up Conference, in Edmonton, in 2002 while we were both students involved with CCO; she at the University of Ottawa and myself at Simon Fraser University. From there, we really never looked back. We now live in Ottawa and have four beautiful children (Elizabeth, David, Theresa, and Katherine).
When I came to Simon Fraser University, I knew that I was a Christian, but I had so many questions. It wasn’t until I attended a CCO retreat in my third year at SFU that I started to find answers to my questions, and the answers came in the form of a relationship. At that retreat, all the basic ideas I had assented to intellectually about God’s love became a lived experience that I could not deny through my reluctant participation in Eucharistic Adoration. There, I met, face-to-face in a real and yet inexplicable way, this God who I had known about and believed in. My faith moved from an idea to a relationship with a God who had revealed himself in a personal and intimate way. I have never been the same since then. Experiencing God’s love in such a real encounter led me to the conviction that if God loves everyone personally – and, if I had experienced Him in this way – then this must be the relationship He wants for everyone. My encounter with God that night quickly instilled in me a missionary heart – a heart to give everyone the same encounter with God in a personal and intimate way.
I’ve had the opportunity to serve in a number of different roles in CCO: Campus Missionary, Campus Team Leader, Payroll Administrator, IT guy, Campus & HQ Internship Coordinator, and many others. Currently, I am Director of Missionary Training. In my previous role as Director of Human Resources, I led an amazing team dedicated to creating the best work environment possible for our staff team. The HR department works with staff from their staff discernment up to the process of their leaving to pursue other callings – and every step in between. Human Resources hopes to work on behalf of CCO staff so that they are as prepared as possible to bring the Gospel to university students across the country.
I have often said that, as a CCO missionary, we will see more conversions happen in a week than many people will get to see in a lifetime. There is no greater joy than meeting with a student and seeing something change in their eyes as they realize something new about God. So often, a young man or woman who is thinking about where the Lord is calling them, comes to a new realization that God’s plan for their life will bring them a joy that nothing else can. They see that His plan is not something to fear, but a beautiful journey He wants to take them on that only He could weave together.
My work with staff (and those discerning) means I meet a lot of people who are trying to figure out what to do with their life and how to discern God’s will. While I am far from an expert in discernment, there are many times when sharing a story from my own journey in discernment – or a principle I have seen work in the lives of others – brings a whole new perspective of what it means to seek God’s plan for your life. It’s a great joy to see how just a few words can lead to such a dramatic change in someone’s outlook on life!
I don’t know that I could make an exhaustive list of the ways I have grown as a CCO staff member – there are just too many! I have grown in self-confidence, in leadership, in knowledge, and in experience. I know my faith so much better than before. But, perhaps the thing I am most excited about is how I am constantly challenged to trust in God in new ways. In everything about our work and the way we live as CCO staff, we have to abandon everything to him. And when we do that, he has shown me time and again that he will do more than we could ever ask or imagine! (see Ephesians 3:20)