Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Campus ministry is Rapheala Richmond’s ‘nine to five’

Published:Saturday | April 9, 2016 | 4:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteith
Rapheala Richmond
Members of the Campus Crusuade for Christ.
Richmond alongside other members of the Campus Crusade for Christ Jamaica as they prepare to travel to Panama to attend a Christian conference.
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any are called, but few are chosen. So when Rapheala Richmond realised that she was among the selected few, she gladly dropped everything to pursue her purpose.

Richmond has been a full-time missionary for over two years, where she evangelises on various campuses, such as Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, University of the West Indies, and the University of Technology.

It all started while she was, pursuing a degree in international relations at the University of the West Indies.

"In my second year (2010), I started attending Bible studies at Mary Seacole's cafeteria. I was challenged to lead others in Bible studies - which I did. I went to trainings and learnt how to share my faith. I got a deeper understanding of The Great Commission, and that the campus was my mission field," she said, adding that she began sharing her faith with everyone ever since.

The 25-year-old explained that telling people about the goodness of God has become her passion and seeing when students are enlightened and transformed by the Word gives her joy. Simply put, campus ministry is Richmond's 'nine to five'.

"I'm a full-time missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ Jamaica, whose mission is to help to fulfil The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and whose vision is for everyone to know someone who truly follows Christ. I'm involved in campus ministry and work closely with college students, doing evangelism and discipleship, including Bible studies and social events. [We are] building a movement and community of like-minded students to help individuals to grow in their relationship with Christ.

"[We help] young men and women to find and walk in their purpose, to know who they are and be that person, especially at the crucial college years where many decisions are made.

"That's my passion and that's what drives me to get out of bed every day," she said.

STEP OF FAITH

Richmond, who has been a Christian for 16 years, told Family and Religion that every step of her journey to being a missionary has been literally a step of faith.

"[I am] coming from very humble beginnings and having studied and gotten my degree (honours), stepping into full-time ministry was a challenging decision, especially when family members didn't agree. Not having a certain or stable pay cheque at the end of the month, no savings, living daily just trusting God for provision," she explained.

But even though the monthly funds associated with a regular job wasn't promised, Richmond remains unperturbed as she focuses on a reward she deems much greater.

"Through missions, we desire to help to fulfil The Great Commission by helping to raise up multiplying disciples who are able to also help to create similar movements, not necessarily full-time or to students, but in whatever sector of society they are," she shared, adding that she hopes to further her studies in cross-cultural missions.

She also wishes to continue studying foreign languages (Spanish and French) through local institutions while practising online. This, she says, will aid her ministry in better communicating with people whenever she travels for missions.

Richmond, whose initial dream was to travel the world and represent Jamaica or other international organisations, ultimately becoming an ambassador or diplomat in foreign affairs, says that she no longer has the desire to pursue this dream.

"I'm now an ambassador for Christ. Only what is done for Him will last," she said.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com