CSU Graduate’s Path to Missions
“In college, I wrestled with our culture’s ideas about chasing security and comfort,” Mariah Gonzalez said.
A Clover, SC, native, her call to ministry began in high school. “I didn’t know exactly what missions looked like, but I knew I loved the local church,” she said. She decided to attend Charleston Southern University, where she pursued a minor in Christian studies and studied psychology, initially considering a career in counseling. However, her exposure to various ministry opportunities in college with GenSend and Palmetto Collective opened her eyes to the vast possibilities of mission work.
“CSU equipped me in a lot of ways to study the Bible and gave me the tools to do that well,” Gonzalez said. While at CSU, Mariah attended Northwood Baptist Church, which provided her with valuable discipleship experiences. “God’s Spirit was evident at work in her while she was here,” Logan Catoe, Missions Pastor at Northwood, said.
On the Mission Field
After a professor at CSU encouraged her to go to Utah with GenSend, a North American Mission Board program designed to give students the ministry mindset needed to become lifelong missionaries, she spent a summer there working with Redemption Church. There, she was burdened for the vast lostness she saw and began praying about what it would look like to return and serve with the church plant after college.
That fall, she was accepted into Palmetto Collective, an SCBaptist program that equips students to be missional leaders. “Seeing God as worth my life played a huge role in putting my yes on the table,” Mariah said. “The Lord taught me to think of Him as my life, not just my top priority,” she said. Mariah is now a missionary in Utah, serving alongside Redemption Church and GenSend.