Westmont Magazine Answering a Call to Ministry and Faithfulness
Lucas Vieira ’19 went to Urbana 2018 hoping to find clear direction for his life. Instead, he realized God was calling him to be faithful. “God didn’t give me a plan at Urbana, he gave me peace,” Lucas says. “Living a successful life means being faithful to him wherever I am.”
Passionate about global and urban missions, Lucas dreams of pursuing pastoral ministry. His double major in religious studies and philosophy, his involvement in ministries, his leadership of Chapel Band and worship at Reality Carpinteria, and his global experiences have all prepared him to serve. “When I graduate, I’ll look for a job in Santa Barbara to make a living, apply to online seminary programs, plug into a local church, and see where the Lord leads me,” he says.
Lucas enrolled in Mayterm India to study Christian mission, Hinduism and social justice. He had planned to become a lawyer like his father. But walking through the dirty, crowded streets of Kolkata, he saw old men asleep on straw mats, laundry flapping overhead, and women tending small, open-flame stoves. Rows of crippled, impoverished and starving people were waiting to die outside of Mother Teresa’s Home for the Destitute and Dying. In the midst of this despair, missionaries, nuns and volunteers arrived to feed, bathe and comfort the dying. Lucas began to wonder if God was calling him to serve.
During his semester with West- mont in Jerusalem, Lucas encountered tensions and tough questions in the Middle East and appreciated how politicians and aid-workers tackled the conflict in different ways. But the stories of pastors serving in the region spoke most powerfully to him. “The people seeking to bring the gospel to these broken spaces stirred something in me, and I realized I wanted to step into that role,” he says.
On Palm Sunday, he joined Christians around the world outside the Old City of Jerusalem as they marched down the mountain, laughing, singing and dancing. He remembers it as one of the most hopeful moments in his life. “I realized that Jesus’s kingdom is real and visible,” he says.
He later made several trips to countries in Africa, which strengthened his commitment to ministry and passion for the global church. He has worked with the student ministry Emmaus Road as programming coordinator, helping teams find places throughout the world where they can serve during the summer.
Urbana changed his perspective on ministry. “I’ve been struck by how Christ isn’t calling His people to be saviors of the world, he says. “Rather He is calling us to faithfully and humbly point others to THE Savior of the world.
“God is a missionary and is still writing his story. Because we know the ending—Christ returns and makes all things new!—we can announce this hope and become ambassadors of the Kingdom of God.”