How God led me into ministry

Written by Ryan Campese

I had just finished carpentry school. Shortly after returning to work, I severely injured my back while helping to lift a wall. I had no idea at the time, but that accident led me on a life-changing journey toward Christ’s calling for my life. 

As I healed, I kept asking God why I was experiencing this back injury. The Lord told me,Be still and listen and know that I am God.

I heard those words more times than I can remember. Due to my injury, I couldn’t be a full-time carpenter anymore. Instead, I felt called to become a member of the Youth For Christ ministry. Through this ministry, I found an opportunity to teach carpentry as a social enterprise. I will partner with my local school board to build sheds with youth and share with them my hope in God and His Son. 

This kind of conversational evangelism excites me. Conversations are so important because they’re reciprocal: you listen to others, then they’ll listen to you. Listening is a life-giving action that invites questions. Think about the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. 

Jesus asked her questions so He could show her what He knew she needed. He showed her through conversation that He loved her and that He was the Messiah. She was filled with excitement and ran away to tell everyone about this conversation.

That is where the message of hope all started—with this woman who was freed and given a new life. She discovered Christ’s living water and would never thirst again. 

I also feel as though Christ gave me a second chance and I want to tell others how this has changed me. During Covid, God has given me the time to focus on my schooling to become the best disciple I can be. God used my injury to change my focus toward ministry. Even though I had to give up my previous full-time career, He has allowed me to teach carpentry while sharing the gospel.

I was never good at education, but thanks to Christ I finished Grade 12 as an adult. Now, I have a college degree in carpentry and am working on my theology exam, which is part of the process to gain my credentials as a member of Youth For Christ. 

My prayer for anyone reading this is that you will take this opportunity to ask:  

Where do I see God, even during Covid? 

Where do I fit in all of this? 

What can I do for God?

When Christ gives us a calling, He won’t give up until He succeeds. As I study and raise funds for my salary, God keeps me calm and hopeful. He has taken care of things so I can focus on my education. 

Scripture reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

I read this verse daily. Its promise is comforting to my spirit and gives me the motivation to keep persevering as Paul did. It has taken a long time for my back injury to heal, but the Lord has been with me and supplied everything I need. This has allowed me to become a better disciple and has filled my mind with peace, joy, and understanding.