“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 2:2-4
I am entering into my first year on campus as a FOCUS missionary, and I have the great pleasure to serve at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Go Vols!
I grew up down south near Hattiesburg, Mississippi and was blessed to have been raised in the Christian faith. I attended Ole Miss during my freshman year of college, but I quickly jumped ship to finish out my college experience at Mississippi State University (much to my family’s joy). Despite the chaos of transferring schools, there were many constants in my life, including my brotherhood in Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX) as well as the continual call from our Lord to grow deeper in friendship with Him.
After many years of striving to know, love, and serve our God, He led me to His Catholic Church, with whom I came into full communion at Easter Vigil of 2021. Then God, in His great love, brought FOCUS to Mississippi State the very next semester. It was through my friendship with our team of missionaries that I was taught how to live an authentically Christian life. These young men and women, now some of my closest friends, changed the course of my life, and I am eternally grateful. Now, God has called me to return the favor to other students, and I could not be happier to obey that call.
In the Gospel according to Matthew, we see that Christ, in His last words to the Disciples before He Ascended, commanded them to “[g]o therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
For so much of my life, I read this passage and thought nothing of it: it is wonderful that some people would go around the world on mission, but surely Jesus was not speaking to me! It turns out… He was! And He was also speaking to you. Our Lord desires every single one of us to join in this great work of evangelization. When God blesses us, it is good and fitting that we should use those gifts to help bring others to Him too. But, we each have our own call within this Great Commission, just as “the body does not consist of one member but of many”. Many are not in a position to uproot themselves for the sake of going on mission, but they may be able to join that same mission through the offering of prayer and financial gifts.
God has called me to the service of university students, and I am pursuing that call while trusting entirely on His Providence. Please take to prayer whether God is calling you to join mission through financial gifts and consider joining my team of mission partners. Most importantly, please pray for me, my team, and all of the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Tennessee, that we might all know the reality of God’s love for us and thus be changed.