Last week, our staff was able to attend our church’s Missions Conference in Greenville. Normally, things like this are refreshing as it gives an opportunity to pull away from the campus and be poured into instead of pouring into everyone else. However, initially all I felt was frustration. 

In my lifetime, God has blessed me with many experiences in many places. But with more experiences I have also seen more brokenness in the world. Growing up I saw depravity and hurt in the day-to-day. I have spent time over the last few years in the inner city and seen how broken and forgotten it can be even while areas nearby thrive. In my two years on staff, my heart has broken over some of the things that the students I am closest with have had to endure. In January I was able to go to Puerto Rico, but while I was there, I saw a culture putting their hope in many broken cisterns that will not follow through. At the missions conference, I learned about the persecution in the Middle East and children dying daily in Africa by diseases that are not a problem in America, and I was also reminded of the ongoing human trafficking problem all over the world.

All of this frustrated me. One speaker said, “Don’t look the other way, do something about it.” What? I wish! I can’t look the other way, but I also can’t do anything about it. I can’t move to the inner city and stay here with the students at SWU and then move to Latin America and then rescue those persecuted in the Middle East and then become a doctor and save children in Africa and then become Liam Neeson and go save victims of human trafficking. But I want to. I want to do all of those things, yet as one person this is not possible. But what about twenty people? Or forty? Then I realized God has called me to make a difference. My regional director has said he has desires to leave Greenville and go to harder places, but in his words, “his staying enables more going.” I am at SWU, but my calling is to reach the nations. In this season of my life, God has not called me to reach the nations by going to them but instead by staying at an 800 student university, so that God may raise up laborers to be sent into the world to turn it upside down.

-Tony Ronco

CO Greenville