Jordana Smith did not come from a Christian home, but she had a powerful encounter with God in her twenties. Now she is an SU Mission Enabler who, with your support, is dedicated to helping churches to share God’s love with children and young people. Here is her story.
‘My parents were not Christians, but I went to a Church of England school and found the hymns and prayers comforting. However, when I studied A level sociology, I was taught that God wasn’t real and that religion was about control. Because my tutors were experts in their field, I believed them.
‘Some years later, I did a business degree which involved writing a dissertation on freedom of speech on YouTube. My research led me to a collection of videos YouTube had removed. I was astonished to find that some were of Christians talking about how Jesus had changed their lives. Why had these been censored? I watched them and it began to dawn on me that these people were telling the truth. God was real!
Do not be afraid
‘At this point in my life, I was suffering worsening anxiety and panic attacks; I had tried all sorts of “solutions” but nothing had worked. Now in desperation I decided to cry out to God to help me.
‘And at that moment, I heard God say, “Do not be afraid.” Later I found those words are repeated many times in the Bible.
‘The next Sunday, for the first time, I went to the service at the local church where my son attended a toddler group. The pastor’s talk was on fear and courage! Afterwards I told him of the anxiety and my encounter with God and he prayed for me. From that day, I never had another panic attack. I began following Jesus and was baptised a year later.
‘After I graduated, I had various jobs but none satisfied me. I asked God for guidance, and he led me into church youth and community work. We connected with many young people, took them on trips and had fun, but we just didn’t seem able to move things on to talk to them about Jesus.
The missing link!
‘Then Isaac, a Mission Enabler with SU at the time, helped me run some sports ministry in which we introduced discussions around faith using the Created2Play cards. The Revealing Jesus mission framework provided a way to progress that journey of faith with young people. It was the missing link that I’d been looking for! I was so inspired that when an opportunity came, I joined SU as a Mission Enabler myself.
"Young people so need our support"
‘I support around 15 Faith Guides – it’s great getting to know them, praying with them, hearing their dreams for ministry. I’m excited to see how God is going to work through them in their different situations using their particular gifts. In children’s work and youth work, it’s easy to copy what other people have done, assuming that it will work for you too. But it takes courage to think “What am I great at? What unique contribution do I have in helping these young people to find Jesus?”
‘Young people so need our support. They are under huge pressure to conform to society’s expectations and popular opinions. Churches have a wonderful opportunity to offer young people acceptance and a safe space in which they can express themselves, discover their specific gifts and learn about the amazing God that created them. As an SU Mission Enabler, I’m passionate about doing all I can to help them, so more young people can know the hope that only Jesus can give.’
Supporting Mission Enablers
Among other things, your donations help us employ and support our teams of Mission Enablers who are working right across England and Wales.
Could you consider making a donation and supporting Mission Enablers, like Jordana, to enable even more churches to benefit from their passion and expertise?
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