Welcome to the last blog for the month of October everyone! This week's content is going to be yet again something special as you read another story from one of our CoMission USFSP alumni. Zack Batdorf graduated from USFSP in the summer of 2017 (I just so happened to graduate that spring) and during those two short years as students, I was privileged to get to know him and see how the Lord has made a radical difference in his life. Here's his story.
In January of 2015, I was in a whole new world transitioning from small community college (SPC Seminole) to big University (USFSP). I felt like a definite “fish out of water” and was stressed on that first week of hitting the campus. I also felt very lost and on my own at that point as I knew just 2 individuals at the school. Getting my priorities straight looked like absolute chaos. Between the new commute from my new apartment in downtown to the school, finding all my classes, and keeping my finances in check I was overwhelmed.
I had recently become a believer in Jesus two years prior to my arrival at USFSP and was very immature in my faith. I could feel that this was a very pivotal point in my life, not just for my education, but also for my relationship with God. One day, I remember I was walking down the main strip to go to one of my first classes, and with no expectation at all someone greeted me from a table. What I did not realize at that moment was that table was going to be the start of my life in community that I never knew I needed.
The boldness and kindness that was poured out to me at that moment seemed so unnatural. The man introduced himself as Ryan Carver and further told me how he was a part of an on-campus ministry called CoMission. When he found out that I was already a believer I saw his eyes light up and without him even saying it I could sense he was thinking “you belong here”. Isn’t that what we all want in this life? To feel like we have a purpose and belong somewhere? Jesus had already made my purpose clear and I could feel Him showing me where I belonged in this crazy season of life.
There was absolutely no regret in my decision to instantly say yes to living in community with my now lifelong friends of CoMission. We would meet every Thursday night at people’s houses and apartments just to do life together and to glorify the name of Jesus. Seriously, how cool is that? There would always be a dinner ready, laughter, love, and a feeling of something closer than family. I can just see looking back how God blessed me in that time when I never understood what the purpose of community was for in the first place. I am eternally grateful for CoMission and what they provided me. They helped me understand the importance of not doing life alone, hospitality, discipleship, evangelism, prayer, and the list could continue into the next five blog posts you read! Most importantly they were there through some of my darkest moments to remind me that the love of God is unfailing, unconditional, and able to save you in the lowest of lows. To all of my brothers and sisters in CoMission I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU!
I serve on staff as both Receptionist and Administrative Assistant for Gulf Coast Community Church and as Executive/Administrative Assistant for CoMission, the church's college outreach ministry. My role in CoMission specifically, includes bookkeeping, calendar oversight, document editing and of course, my favorite part: writing this blog. My hope for this blog is to help you get a feel for what the heartbeat of CoMission is about as I share various content on the topics of discipleship, evangelism, college outreach strategies, and everything in between. I'll even share an occasional update on the current events of CoMission as we strive to raise and equip disciples for the sake of the Gospel on the USFSP campus. May you be well informed and encouraged with every post. To Him be the glory.