do try to make that space in my life to be
able to say yes to really great things like
Compassion and LIM. That’s something I
have to be really conscious of, to just really
be instead of doing things. This year I’m
really trying to centre around this idea of
“presence” – being really present where I am
and being really aware of God’s presence.
Being open and available to what God is
doing in this moment.
What do you want to do when you “grow
Alyssa: That’s such a funny question! I
definitely want to stay in the space of being
an advocate for the poor and people who
are marginalized, and being part of building
God’s kingdom – whatever that looks like.
When we ask that question it’s all about
what do we want to do for work, but I think
there’s more to growing up than working – I
think and hope [laughs]. When I grow up, I
want to be open to what God is doing in all
aspects of my life, including my work.
Do you ever get scared going through so
much school and not being “sure” exactly
what that career title looks like?
Alyssa: At times – in high school there
was a lot of worry. Somewhere in grade
10 or 11 I sat down and really thought
about it, Man, there’s so much worry about
something that’s already in God’s hands.
It’s definitely a struggle and something I
continually surrender to God. Now that I’m
in university what I concentrate the most
on is learning and being, and understand
that what I’m doing now is important. It’s
not just a means to an end, but in itself
it’s something that can be used for God’s
kingdom. Just because I’m in university
doesn’t mean God can’t use me right now.
What’s the difference between God’s story
and our own individual story?
Alyssa: There’s this sense of individualism
in North American and the North American
church where it’s centred on me, What
can the church and God do for me? For me
personally, [I didn’t get past that] until
engaging with issues of poverty and
injustice, and understanding that my story
is just one small part of so many other
people’s stories. The struggle that other
people go through helps me realize that my
story is insignificant unless it’s plugged into
a greater story – and that’s God’s story.
How does the resource True Story: What
God wants us to do about poverty link in
to God’s story?
Alyssa: It’s an invitation to look at the entire
Bible as this story of, Yeah, things are broken,
things are messed up, but God has a story of
redemption for the world –and that’s Jesus.
Today that means following Jesus and being
a part of what He started. In Revelation
Jesus says, “I am making all things new”
[Revelation 21: 5]. For me that’s such huge
hope. There’s so much brokenness in the
world, and looking around [it’s obviously] so
messed up, that sometimes you’re thinking,
What can I even do? Where do I start? Just
understanding Jesus is making all things
new, our invitation is to plug into that story
and be a part of that. That takes a burden
off of you to save the entire world, because
Jesus has already done that.
What’s your advice to youth and young
Alyssa: You’re never too young to make
an impact in the kingdom of God. Often
in the church youth think, When I grow up
(or when I’m an adult) I can do something
for God’s kingdom. I often think how Jesus
talked about children being the greatest
in the kingdom. The smallest and most
insignificant people in God’s story have
been the ones who have made the biggest
impact. We as youth have a potential,
responsibility, privilege and calling to build
Christ’s kingdom on Earth. We are never too
young to start or to have an impact.
Advice to youth/young adults? Tomorrow is not
promised, so give your life to Christ today!
The struggle that other people go through helps me realize
that my story is insignificant unless it’s plugged into a
greater story – and that’s God’s story.
Allan Spiers - Slingstone Productions