She learned to pray

By | October 10, 2019

Hi! My name is Brittany, I am a second year FOCUS missionary here at James Madison. What I do and what FOCUS does is we are here on campus with the students to walk with them in their day-to-day in their daily lives, to help them with prayer, to encourage them to read Scripture, to encourage them to lead their own Bible studies, and small groups, and get involved in the community, and build the community up. There’s one student in particular, who I would love to share her story with you. Her name is Naomi. Naomi came in last year as a freshman, and she came in ready to get involved, excited about her faith, ready to go with all of these things, but quickly found that it was hard to live this faith out in college. It was hard to go to prayer, it was hard to come to CCM it was hard to do these things on her own initiative. So she needed people to walk with her. So I started meeting with her and talking with her, and she was able to get involved in a small group of her own, and it was through this process that she began to be a pillar in this community, that she began to come around a lot more. She began to bring her friends with her, people that she knows from her dorm. But Naomi also hit a hard point with prayer. She was struggling with daily prayer, and how to implement that in her life. And there were two juniors last year who took her out of town and they were able just to walk with her in that, and to talk to her and encourage her to pray every day, encourage her to keep going back to the Lord and her Bible study leader, who was a sophomore and she started meeting with her one-on-one. She started diving into the Scripture with her, diving into the Old Testament looking at the Truth of who God is as our Father, the goodness that He has there. And then, Naomi was doing great with that And then Lent came around last year and she was struggling with the Passion of Christ. Why does Christ have to die? Why does He have to suffer? And I encouraged her just to dive into that deeper, to go fully into that with Jesus. And through the community at CCM, she was able to ask questions, she was able to get those answers as to why we suffer why Christ had to die and resurrect for us, and came to a greater understanding of that in her life and in her own faith. And then building off of that I invited her to come on a summer mission trip to Costa Rica with me. And this was a two-and-a-half week mission trip in a suburb of San Jose, Costa Rica. And it was hard! It was a hard two weeks. There was a lot of spiritual dryness there, a lot of spiritual nothing. And everyday Naomi woke up with a smile and went out to those people, and invited them in. In the same way that she had invited the people from her dorm to come to CCM, to come to Tasty Tuesday last year, to come to Adoration, to come to her Bible study. She was able to also invite these people of Costa Rica to come to daily Mass, to come to our catechesis classes. And through that, in her own prayer life, she was able to re-encounter the love of God the Father, and what that actually means. And that radically transformed the way that she prayed. And she is now, as a sophomore, leading a Bible study of her own, which is so exciting! She is leading freshman, walking with them in the same problems and the same struggles that she had. And she is able to help them in that, and speak into that, and bring them into community. And that was really a big point for her, was this JMU CCM community. And this community wouldn’t be possible without all of you guys, so thank you so much for allowing this to happen, for allowing me to be here, to be part of this beautiful community that raises up leaders, that raises up the next generation of our Church. That raises up a beautiful community where we can just come and get together and share a meal together, in the same way that Christ and His apostles did. None of this would be possible without you. And Naomi’s story wouldn’t possible without you. And there are hundreds of other stories just like this on this campus. So thank you so much. I am really, truly grateful for everything that you do, from the bottom of my heart. This upcoming Sunday is “Matching Gift Sunday” which is where we hope to match every gift that we receive, every increased gift that we receive. So I encourage you to look into your own finances and pray about where the Lord is calling you to give. And I hope it’s to the JMU CCM community because it’s a beautiful community. And it’s wonderful, and it’s such a blessing to be here. So thank you.

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