Editor's note: Vanessa talks below about YPO (Young Professionals Outreach) and UCO (University Christian Outreach). Talk to your local Sword of the Spirit community about getting involved in either of these groups!
I think the pandemic just changed life as we know it, even here in Mumbai, India. Fear and anxiety
have just become part of our anatomy at this point and everyday is a less adventurous and brutal
hunger game with this virus that seems to consume our screens when American happenings are not.
I for one, have found the Lord really working in my everyday life despite the sudden surges of cases,
and news of death we receive almost weekly. The Lord is working at a bigger level and He really has
been doing a tremendous lot with a desire I have and had been praying for since I moved back home over a year ago now. A few of us here, began to really pray about doing a YPO in early
January 2020 and honestly, when the lockdown happened, we took the virtual opportunity to
reconnect with folks we’d grown up with in UCO and not really spoken to in ages since then. It was
really wonderful to see how everyone organically came together over and over to worship God and
soon, we found ourselves in a Friday evening praise and worship routine that over the months
evolved into talks, game nights and sharing sessions. The Lord was at work.
For me personally, the Lord gave me newly strengthened relationships with friends I’ve known
forever but not necessarily been close to now as young working professionals. As we began to meet
more virtually and for those of us who live a stone’s throw from one another in person as well, that
only just grew closer and more robust one to one. We realised our struggles were the same and in fact, we’d been craving this time to just sit and talk about all the frustrations and anxieties. We
slowly learned to lean on one another and be vulnerable. Thank you, Lord for the gift of power of
He also gave me time to work through my missing life in Washington D.C and being part of a
wonderful community with TCC and the YoPros there. I wasn’t sure when I moved back whether I
wanted to be a part of anything community related but very quickly the Lord changed my heart and
mind to be one that is very heavily service oriented and willing to build and work towards having a
space that is comfortable for all those who are seeking the Lord and tackling the working life in this
crazy complicated world we find ourselves in.
At an individual level, I find that during this entire pandemic period, God has only been drawing me
closer and closer to Him through my daily personal prayer time, family life and the relationships He
is calling me to give my time to and invest in. Recently, I was and continue to be drawn to
Philippians 4:6- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And God reaffirmed these promises with another scripture Isaiah 58:1- The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered
garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
As we move into a time of planning and praying for a vision of what does this YPO look like and
how can we personally and as a team continue to grow, I am less nervous and more hopeful of how
the Lord will use each one of us to do His work and draw not only one another into a deeper
relationship with Christ but automatically lead new folks as well. I am excited to be honest! If we
really look on a daily basis, we will find the littlest and sometimes even the biggest ways in which the
Lord’s plans are unfolding, and it will surprise if not overwhelm you as it does to me, constantly!!