Watching and Willing
By Monica Lai
Often, I consider my workplace my missionary field since I work part-time directly in church ministry while also being a student at UBC but I am constantly reminded that the kingdom spans far and wide and into every crevice of our lives and is meant to reach the people we meet just as widely. I am constantly struck by the intimidating but exciting reality that my missionary field is all around me.
In discerning my role with InterVarsity as a student leader several years ago, I first realized my calling and joy in journeying with people. Campus ministry grew my heart and interest in people. I began greeting strangers with the authentic intent of friendship for them to experience the community I had found. I hoped for them to discover Jesus as I had felt the transformative, liberating work of Christ in my life. As I desired this for others, I wanted to get to know them. I wondered about their lives and about their stories.
As I walked further in this path, I realized that the most life-giving moments in campus ministry for me were the opportunities I had to simply journey alongside people: hearing their stories, sharing my story, and being watchful and willing to the Spirit who would move through conversations. I realized genuine connection and relationships are desperately needed in our culture and society which highly values independence over interdependence, and self-sufficiency over humility and reliance. As I practiced this as a student on campus, I began to integrate kingdom priorities into the rest of my life and into the way I saw the world and loved the people in it.
Constantly I am surprised by the active work of the Holy Spirit. When we live in submission to Him and share a desire for His kingdom to reign in the hearts of those around us in the knowledge that He is the only one who can satisfy, I am constantly reminded by God’s faithfulness especially when He reaches those I least expect.
Recently, while beginning a new program of study at UBC, I came across a classmate who I had assumed went to church since she mentioned she had used to serve in Sunday school. I was drawn to get to know her more and as I did, I found out that her church had dissolved some time ago and that she had not visited a church since. Neither had she ever experienced a Christian community where she felt like she belonged. However, she was open to church and wanted to trust in God. Isn’t that amazing?
Currently I am visiting churches with my classmate and praying for more people to journey alongside her especially in the church she finds a home in. Will you join me in listening for stories of students on our campuses and in journeying alongside them? In the church or out of the church, so many of our friends, or soon-to-be friends, or could-be-friends are desiring connection, a community, and deep down, a relationship with God even if it might not be apparent. But we cannot do all this alone. And so, I pray, let us create open lines of communication, open doors, and authentic, transformative communities together.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16
Bachelor of Education Candidate
Tenth Kids Director—UBC Point Grey