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A Leader for ‘Such a Time as This’

February 21, 2024
Gaur (center) is a leader with Momentum Campus Ministry.
Gaur (center) is a leader with Momentum Campus Ministry.

Ashlesha Gaur lived in India with her Hindu family. She grew up believing in Hindu gods and goddesses—but then she started questioning whether the stories were true. She said that by the time she left to attend university in Kingston, Ont., she was an atheist.

Then, throughout her four years at Saint Lawrence College in Kingston, Gaur said, she searched for meaning by putting her hope in the wrong things. And near the end of her senior year she hit rock bottom.

But just when she felt she had nowhere to turn, Gaur said, God placed someone in her life to speak the truth to her. She said that although it is difficult to describe, she encountered the Holy Spirit’s presence. She couldn’t deny God’s existence anymore; she had met the one true God.

Grateful to God for this turnaround in her life, Gaur said she wanted to share the gospel with others—but she wasn’t sure how. That’s when she met Kathy Doering, a campus minister at Momentum Campus Ministries, which serves several university campuses throughout Ontario.

Doering and her colleague, Steven Kooy, are campus ministers supported by Resonate Global Mission. They discipled Gaur, prayed with her, and read the Bible with her. As time went on, they said, her faith grew. They saw Gaur’s desire to serve, and they knew she was the right person to help meet a huge need on campus—the growing population of students from India.

“The landscape of Canadian colleges has changed so much over the past few years, with at least 30 percent now coming from India,” shared Kooy.

It seemed God had sent Gaur to the campus ministry “for such a time as this” (see Esther 4:14), said Doering and Kooy. They asked Gaur to be part of the Resonate Emerging Leaders program. As an emerging leader, Gaur would receive mentorship from campus ministers while leading a key aspect of ministry.

Though she was nervous about taking on this role, Gaur said, she gave it her all. Wanting to create a space on campus where everyone felt included and comfortable, she started a club. It started small. At first, only Gaur’s friends and a couple of other students would show up.

It was a little discouraging at first, said Doering and Kooy, but each week the number of students grew.

With support from Gaur’s mentors, the new student ministry grew. Now more than 50 students are regularly part of this ministry and learning about the gospel. They worship together every Wednesday, and Gaur hosts small groups at her house.

“Gaur has been an incredible gift from God to help us in our mission to be an incredible community where students of all cultures experience Jesus and his transformation,” said Kooy.

Gaur said she wants to make a big difference on campus: “It will be really cool if we’re able to reach even half of the Indian population that walks through the doors of the St. Lawrence College campuses and the Loyalist College-Belleville campus!”