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Teaching the Teachers: Michael Hall

halls (386x217)When I entered university, I would have been considered a good Catholic kid who was genuinely trying to live out my faith in a quiet manner while preparing to be a high school history and religion teacher. Four years later, I left university a missionary. In the summer of 2002, I was a part of CCO’s Impact Canada mission to World Youth Day in Toronto. Entering the mission, joining staff with CCO was the furthest thing from my mind. In fact, I had already said no to the invitation to attend staff recruitment sessions. My response was, “I am 100% sure I am going to become a teacher.” But, while listening to a workshop given by a CCO staff member at the Youth Arise International festival (just prior to WYD), I thought to myself, “I could see myself doing that.” I was shocked at the thought and quickly tried to push the idea out of my head.  It was crazy, and besides, I was going to become a teacher…right? My “100% sure” response was starting to develop some cracks in its foundation. Throughout the rest of the mission trip, I couldn’t shake the idea of joining CCO’s staff. I thought, even hoped, that it would go away after the mission ended. But I couldn’t shake it. The words of the Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day kept ringing in my head: “Young people listening to me, answer the Lord with strong and generous hearts! He is counting on you. Never forget: Christ needs you to carry out his plan of salvation! Christ needs your youth and your generous enthusiasm to make his proclamation of joy resound in the new millennium. Answer his call by placing your lives at his service in your brothers and sisters! Trust Christ, because he trusts you.” God was instilling in me this call to be a part of his plan of salvation. But where could I serve him best? As I prayed about this, I came to realize the opportunity that campus evangelization presents.  It is at our universities that the leaders of tomorrow’s society are formed and trained. Imagine the impact one missionary could have by reaching our society’s future leaders and training those leaders to reach others? Imagine the impact I could have if I didn’t just teach students, but I taught the teachers who would reach even more students year after year? God was unfolding before me a vision of spiritual multiplication – that my efforts to reach a few teachers with the Gospel could have a more wide-reaching impact than a career of teaching thousands of students ever could. My call to CCO’s staff was not the result of a blinding vision of God or a booming voice from heaven. But my call was as unmistakable as either one. A little nagging thought in the back of my head became a call I could not ignore.

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