It was a drizzly afternoon in St. John’s. I picked Stacey up at home and we headed to the Starbucks in Chapters on Kenmount. We grabbed our hot drinks and tucked ourselves into a secluded corner. I was immediately drawn into Stacey’s sweet, spunky way of storytelling. We talked and talked about everything from family in her home country of Zimbabwe to her favorite hikes here in Newfoundland. Getting to know the students in our Mosaic community is the best part of my job. Stacey had countless stories of faith intersecting with life in inspirational ways. Sharing those stories with others is important to us. Here is a snippet of our conversation.
Nova: What is your story- how did you even come to find yourself in St. John’s?
Stacey: I’m originally from Zimbabwe and I came to St John’s to study at MUN. Why MUN? Mostly because two of my sisters went to MUN so it was kind of like course of nature, also because MUN is affordable.
N: How did you become a Christ-follower? When did faith become real for you?
S: I remember being a Christian from a very young age, almost always. I was raised in a God-fearing home and I was nurtured into a relationship with Christ through my parents’ teachings, through reading the word on my own, and building a personal relationship with Christ. I cannot say for sure that I had a single moment in which Christ and my faith in Him became real for me, rather it was a process, a series of events so to speak. So many things and happenings in my life that have affirmed the presence of God in my life that I cannot deny His existence and the leading role that He plays in my life.
N: How does faith integrate into your everyday life?
S: Faith helps me to get through life even when I feel like giving up, just knowing that there is a God who loves me unconditionally and wants what’s best for me and humanity, in general, helps me get through the day. Seeing how far God has brought me helps me to know that He didn’t bring me this far to just leave me hanging. I’ve had a lot going on in my life the past few years, along with some mental health issues, which is something I still struggle with and take one day at a time. Just knowing that God is there really helps me in the bad days to know that I will come out on the other side and helps me to appreciate the hand of God in my life. Even when my feelings are constantly changing and living in a world that is constantly changing having faith that God’s love is unshakable acts as an anchor for me daily.
N: What are some of your fave things about our city?
S:Haha, well not the weather for one! I would have to say the people that I’ve met here certainly make the city lovable. I also really like the nature especially in the summer when you can go out and appreciate it (the few days that summer decides to grace us with its presence haha)
N:How do you feel about living here? What are some of the challenges?
S:I like it for the most part, I’m a pretty adaptable person because I moved around a few times growing up. My biggest challenge is missing my family and not being able to see them as often as I’d like. In relation to faith I find that being a Christian here is a lot more effort than it was back home, simply because where I’m from you interact with more Christians and are less likely to be questioned about your beliefs, but I feel it helps me to know that I am a child of God regardless of where I am in the world.
N:What would you like to do in the future? What would you like to do if there was no limitation?
S: In the future, I would like to get a career in which I get to help people, preferably health related. I’ll just have to wait and see where God takes me. I just want to be in a position in which I can show God’s love to others whatever that may look like. If there were no limitations I’d like to be a medical doctor, and I’d also like to just have all my family together in one place.
N:Tell us a story of how you have seen God come through for you during your time in University?
S: University can get really hectic and stressful at times and I definitely see God’s hand in my time at MUN. During my studies, I had to work to sustain myself and help my family cut costs, which meant I had to work a couple jobs along with full time studies. I also was heavily involved in extracurricular volunteer activities which, collectively, meant I hardly had any spare time for myself and sadly at times even for God. God however always remained faithful and placed some really amazing supportive people in my life, I also still managed to get good grades throughout despite the high amount of physical, emotional fatigue I felt, especially in the last school year. I often had people asking me how I managed to do it all and all I can say is God did it. I know that it was not by my own strength that I managed to get through my last year of university and I can honestly say that in my weakness God’s strength was shown.
N: If you could give other University Students who are just starting out a key piece of advice/ wisdom, what would it be?
S: First I’d say God loves you always, no matter what! I think that’s something we should always try to remember. Also, it’s good to surround yourself with people who can encourage you and support you emotionally and spiritually. One thing I found useful in my time in university was going church even during the busy weeks (unless it was crazy busy) as it helped me to mentally check in with God and recharge for the week, so I’d say find something that keeps you grounded to God doesn’t have to be church.
N: Why do you love Mosaic? What keeps you coming?
S: I love Mosaic because it is like a family to which everyone is welcome. I like the openness and that all questions are welcome so I never feel like I have to be anyone other than who I am. I keep coming back because I find myself learning more about God and my relationship with Him.