Jennifer Nesslar / June 21, 2015 / COMission update
My name is Jennifer Nesslar, and I graduated from USF St. Petersburg in May. I was involved with COMission during the three years I spent at USFSP. In the spring, we began talking about a COMission staycation this summer. At the time, I didn’t think I would be attending. There was a strong possibility that I’d be moving away. But God ended up working out my summer in a different way than I expected. I was able to make every day of the staycation, and I’m so glad I did. Graduation is a time of a lot of changes, and for me, life has seemed incredibly noisy. It was so good for me to slow down and be reminded of what I was created for: sharing the good news of Christ’s sacrifice and how God is restoring the world to Himself through Christ. On this trip, we worked on sharing the story of the Bible. We repeatedly shared with strangers on the beach, people downtown and even with each other. I noticed that speaking the Gospel renewed my desire to share it with others. It’s like a domino effect. The more you do it, the more you want to. I pray that this staycation spurs all the members of our community group, including myself, to become more and more willing to share with the people we encounter in life. One thing we really emphasized was that it’s not about meeting people, sealing the deal and moving on. Instead, sharing the Gospel involves deeply caring for the people you talk to. While walking around downtown, I met a woman who was just diagnosed with cancer for the fourth time. I pray that she sensed our care for her, even as we sought to shine a light on the mistruths she believes about how to be right before God. Every day of the staycation, we met together in homes and apartments. We ate together, prayed together, and talked about how to join the mission of God.
COMission is a group of USF St. Petersburg students who come together seeking to make Jesus famous. But we are a whole lot more than just students. The community group that focuses on USF St. Petersburg is made up of people in many stages of life. We have college students from USF St. Pete, Eckerd and St. Pete College. We also have college graduates who are in the workforce. These people are faithful to share the Gospel in their workplaces, which is an encouragement to me, a college graduate entering the workforce. But these people are also deeply invested in COMission’s goal to make Jesus famous at USF St. Petersburg. They pray for the campus and come alongside of the students in COMission. I even heard one suggest that he could take a day off to help out during Welcome Week. The hospitality of our group is worth sharing. Many students don’t have a place to invite people over, so this where many of our non-students step in. They open their homes and even make incredible meals for us. I want to follow this example when I am in the position to do so. I have to add that hospitality is not limited to non-students. Students also serve us by opening their home and sharing food. As a community group, we are working on two things: showing hospitality and bringing the Gospel to those around us, particularly students at USF St. Pete. I want to thank you for your prayers and your support of COMission. I’m grateful for a church that is willing to invest so much in bringing the Gospel to college students. Thank you.