Transformation on a Tyler campus

The Tyler Junior College campus, where Lauren Cartwright is serving with Go Now Missions.

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Serving as a campus missionary has radically transformed my definition of serving “the least of these,” as Jesus commanded.

lauren cartwright130Lauren CartwrightTyler Junior College has an array of different types of people from all walks of life. At any given event, we attract all kinds of students—from those who are well off and living at home, to homeless individuals who must make their living on the street, to everything in-between.

Before I came to serve here, I would have been pretty intimidated by some of the individuals with whom I have shared a message of hope in Christ. But after several months of God opening my eyes and moving in lives, my perspective has changed.

One of my favorite moments here occurred during a free lunch at the Baptist Student Ministries building. Things where winding down, and we had not had many students to start with that day, but God had a plan.

As I was starting to clean up, a couple of students grabbed my attention—a pair of star football players studying for their world religions class. They started asking all sorts of questions about the Ten Commandments and what they really meant. I was able to share with them the truth about who God is and how God wants to have a relationship with them.

Need for encouragement

A woman sitting across from us asked if she could share her opinion. I recognized her from a couple of months earlier. She had stopped by to let us know she had just gotten out of jail and was trying to come back to school this spring. This woman had been through a lot and needed some encouragement.

We continued to talk and share our lives with one another. God used the story of how he redeemed me and revived my life to encourage her.

I soon found out she had been a prostitute with some drug issues and was trying to lead a new life with God’s help. Since that noontime encounter, she has been visiting the BSM every day, and we continue to share life together.

Off the streets

With God’s help, she is off the streets and following God as she walks away from the things she once saw security and value. It is amazing how God used one opportunity to share his hope with a couple of athletes in order to open up the door for a great discipleship opportunity. Not only did I get to share the gospel with two football players, but now I get to encourage and pray with this woman as well.

This week she came to our ladies’ Bible study. When she started asking some tough questions, a few students jumped in and started sharing Scripture after Scripture with her. After the study, they exchanged phone numbers and said they intend to stay in contact.

I constantly am humbled by the opportunity to share life with the students. God continues to remind me that if I will just make myself available to him, he will do great things. I want to live each day for Jesus by serving whoever he places in my path. Many people define the success of an organization by how many people come to the events they have, but I am learning to see success in lives changed.

Lauren Cartwright, a graduate of Tarleton State University, is serving as a campus missionary intern at Tyler Junior College through Go Now Missions.

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