Since we left Carleton University 10 years ago, Loni and I really haven’t had the chance to go back and minister on that campus. But last week, our National Leadership Team met together in Ottawa to visit the Ottawa campuses to encourage them and gain some perspective on the challenges that our teams are facing in Ottawa.
This was such a great experience for me, as I had forgotten what a transformative time Carleton was in my life! Wandering around a place where God really got a hold of my heart and challenged me to take steps of faith in following Him was just what I needed this fall.
Here are a couple significant moments for me:
- I had the opportunity to take a few first year students out to talk with their peers about Jesus for the first time. Taking these guys out to talk with students in the cafeteria and the atrium of the student centre was a great reminder to me of when I first learned to share my faith as a students at Carleton in those very same places!
- One student had booked an appointment with her French prof to talk about her faith with him. As the director of our ministry in Quebec, she thought that I might be able to help, so we sat down with her prof and another prof and had a great spiritual conversation with them in French in the Starbucks at the Carleton Library. One fun moment in that conversation was when her prof asked her if she thought there were still people in Canada that were genuinely trying to follow the life and teachings of Jesus, and we could affirm together that yes, we are part of just such a group of students!
- The leadership team at Carleton invited me to share with their team about my experience as a student at Carleton. I loved being able to walk them through a tour of significant places on campus where God met me as a student and challenged me to follow Him. One of the stories I shared with them was about the first large event that I was part of organizing at Carleton, a debate on the existence of God that 500 students attended. I remember so vividly realizing through that experience that God could use me to have an impact on my peers!
Overall, the experience of being back at Carleton was really refreshing for me. It was a reminder of where God has taken my life over the last 10-12 years, and the ways that He has continued to transform me into the image of His Son.
Thanks for praying along with us that God would continue to call generations of university students to make significant commitments to Him during their time on campus!