John Cummings / COMission USFSP update / February 5th 2017
When I first came to USF, I would have called myself a Christian, but I didn’t really understand what that meant. I didn’t know what it looked like to follow Christ. In my head, Jesus was just my back-up plan, I mean, I certainly didn’t want to go to hell. I thought I could do whatever I wanted and as long as I claimed to believe in Jesus, as long as I said, “Yeah, I’m a Christian,” on the off chance someone asked, then I was good. I went into college with that mentality, and I can’t express how thankful I am that God brought me to the people He did.
My first introduction to COMission was when I met Ryan at orientation, where my dad gave him my phone number without telling me. Needless to say, I spent a good part of my first semester dodging phone calls and texts from Ryan and Kason. Every time they called I’d always come up with an excuse to miss whatever event they were inviting me to, but eventually I gave in and went to one of the weekly meetings…mostly in hopes it would get them to stop calling me. But before I knew it I was going every week, then I was going to community group meetings and coming to Gulf Coast. I was so fascinated by the way the people in COMisson truly lived as a family of missionary servants that I couldn’t help but stick around. As someone who believed in God, but had very little actual faith, when I saw people who were so reliant on God in their daily lives, all I wanted was to have the kind of faith that they had. As I started pressing in more and more, Ryan started to meet up with me weekly and bring me with him to share the gospel with other students. I realized that all the time I had spent thinking I was a Christian, I had really been doing nothing but running from what Christians are called to: Mission and discipleship. More than anything, I wanted the faith to live the life I was called to.
God did a work in me, largely through COMission, and because of that my second semester here was really just a blur of learning more and more about what it meant to follow Jesus, mainly by joining in on serving the campus and getting equipped to be sent out and reach others. This kind of culminated in the East Asia trip last summer, where we spent 4 weeks intentionally sharing with college students there. I could go on for hours about that trip, but really the highlight was first seeing God come through in getting the support to even go, then seeing the way He worked while we were there. Seeing God call people to himself, people who had never before heard the gospel, fired up my faith in a way I had never known before. That trip changed my life.
This year, God has allowed me to continue investing in a few guys from last semester, who now are following Jesus alongside me. A couple weeks ago one of them joined me in starting a bible study with a guy that we had just met at the beginning of the semester.
Really, all of this is to say that at USFSP, COMission students, and non-students like the Hoaglands, the Kedershas, the Carvers, and the list goes on, have come together and are investing in each other’s lives and in the lives of other students who are far from God. We are meeting with new people, sharing the gospel, and God is using that to bring students closer and closer to a place of following Him and making Him known. Just last semester, 4 people came to know God and were baptized in the fountain on campus.
Now 9 of us, including one of those 4, are gearing up to go to East Asia again. I’m excited to see how God will work through us while we’re there and to find local students who God is preparing to receive the gospel and carry it out to the largely unreached population. I just want to ask that you continue to pray for us and the mission on campus, and in Asia. I want to thank Daryn for just being awesome and investing the time that he has into campus ministry, and I want to thank you, Gulf Coast, for your continued support and prayer for Ryan, and COMission as a whole.