Some people think that a life lived on mission for Christ must involve travelling to distant countries to serve as a missionary. However, for Mandy Ogunnowo, a 2008 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, a life of missional living simply means being flexible and open to God’s calling to serve the people around her each and every day to make a difference in her community.
After becoming a Christian at age sixteen, Ogunnowo found herself living a rather lukewarm Christian life; she merely went through the motions of her faith without seeing it make a substantial difference in who she was. She tended to keep her life compartmentalized, with her work life, social life, and spiritual life rarely overlapping. The Lord opened the eyes of her heart in the fall of 2015 after witnessing the final months of a close friend’s father’s life. Deeply saddened by Jerry’s death, Ogunnowo returned to her hometown of Lawrence, Kansas for the memorial service, and there she saw something extraordinary. While the family was deeply grieving for their loved one, Ogunnowo witnessed the strength and courage that the Gospel gave them as they celebrated Jerry’s life with joy and hope. Hearing Jerry’s family boldly share their hope in Jesus, even in their time of mourning, deeply touched Ogunnowo’s heart, and the Lord used the experience to reignite a passion for following Him with her whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
Since then, Ogunnowo has become a powerful force of change in her community. Through her job as an IT consultant for the Secretary of State in Indianapolis, Indiana, she is able to interact with many people in both the public and private sector. She freely shares her faith with those around her and is always prepared to give a reason for the hope within her. Additionally, Ogunnowo is a member of Nehemiah Bible Church and serves as the Program Manager in the Church’s outreach ministry called Kids Church – a VBS style, Saturday service committed to proclaiming the Gospel to the community’s marginalized neighborhood youth and their families. This includes hundreds of children who attend the service throughout the year. She no longer views her faith and the other aspects of her life as being separate; rather, she tries to achieve excellence in her career as part of her ministry of glorifying God.
As Ogunnowo’s heart continues to be drawn closer to the Lord every day, she plans to move into a community house and disciple young women who are transitioning into adulthood. Ogunnowo continues to follow God’s Spirit wherever He leads her as she continues to be a shining light in her workplace and in her community.