For the next four weeks, we’re going to be hearing from current and former #MHCollege students whose lives were forever impacted by the SENT Initiative. Join us for the journey! Up first is Neeko Williams.
Three years ago, if you would have asked me “What is a missionary?”, I would have told you the people who go overseas to tell others about Jesus, and I would have been rather confident in that answer. That isn’t entirely wrong, but that’s also not the whole answer either. If you asked me today “What is a missionary?”, I’d tell you every follower of Jesus who shares the gospel in any and every context. Where did I learn that?
In the summer that changed my life.
1. Unlikely Summer Plans
Two summers ago, I participated in City Life. And if I’m being honest with you, I really didn’t want to. The main reason I signed up for City Life was that if the internships I wanted didn’t come through, I may as well do something productive. But let me just say summer projects are worthy of being your first choice and not your fallback plan. I am glad for God’s sovereign wisdom because I didn’t get a single internship. Instead, I got a job at the local YMCA as a summer camp counselor. My pride was hurt because I didn’t get the internship that I wanted, but looking back, it was one of the greatest things that could have happened to me.
During that summer, City Life taught me what it meant to live a “Sent Life”—which meant every area of my life belonged to Jesus and his reign: my career, my school, and my family. I was to live missionally in every aspect of my life. Jesus saved me for his glory, and he sent me for his glory.
All I can say is God’s timing is so ironic. I was participating in a project that I didn’t want to do after a school year where I was questioning whether or not I would pursue a career in theatre. During that summer, I encountered the gospel in a new way. Don’t get me wrong, my parents had been diligent in teaching my siblings and I what it meant to live as a Christian, but that summer the pieces seemed to fall into place and just fit. All of a sudden, the freedom and sweet truths of Christ’s message settled in my soul, and I was ready to tell the world what Jesus had done for me and how he could do the same for those who believed in him. The reason why it’s so ironic is because that in the very summer where I wasn’t studying theatre, God did something very dramatic in my heart.
2. Unlikely Post-Graduate Plans
That’s when I began to think about how I could impact my university with the gospel. I wanted to live sent but not just for myself. I ultimately wanted to equip those around me to share the gospel and live sent as well. One way that I could do that effectively was by leveraging the following two years as a college resident with Mercy Hill. I made a decision to give up pursuing my theatrical career to leverage all that I had for the sake of his mission in the hopes of one day planting a church. God isn’t asking everyone to give up their career and dream job for his name, but he is asking that every believer be ready if he asks.
I’m not going to lie. There are days when I do miss theatre. And right around those times, it’s as if God winks at me by sending me an opportunity to perform in some way, shape, or form. Since I made the decision to enter into full time ministry, I haven’t regretted this decision. And I look back at my City Life summer as one that changed my life.
Year after year, students are changed by Jesus through the SENT Initiative and set on life-changing trajectories. For more information on the Sent Initiative, click here!
–Neeko Williams (College Team)