Maria Bunkers

“Do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa

Where I serve

I am returning to Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colorado, for my second year on mission! I am a full-time varsity missionary, meaning my main focus is college athletes. I am very honored and excited to continue to journey with women here at CSU, growing in relationship with them and the Lord as we share in the love and joy of Christ, running together to our one true home–Heaven!


My team from left to right: Tim Knauss, Megan Ellery, Camille Zarycki, me, Brandon Holy (team director)

My Story

As a missionary, my greatest desire is to lead all souls to Christ. Running cross country and track in college at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, I initially placed my identity in being a runner . However, my running career was nothing like I had dreamed or hoped for. I experienced many injuries and was unable to perform anywhere near what I did in high school, leaving me feeling broken and lost. Nonetheless, the Lord’s hand was in it all and pulled me in closer to His most Sacred Heart, starting with my cross country team’s FOCUS bible study. I grew in authentic friendship with these women and was soon discipled by one of my teammates. The Lord pulled the greater good out of my suffering, slowly stripping my identity from running and building me back up to help me see who I really am–a beloved daughter of Christ.

Through this experience and the attendance of a SEEK conference in spring 2021, the Lord helped me to personally know His great love for me, and the joy and freedom that comes with living in my true identity as His daughter. He tenderly opened my heart to see that He is not a Father of rules, but a Father of relationship. It was then that I truly understood what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He is a Father of love and mercy, desiring nothing more than communion with all His beloved children and for them to live freely in the fullness of Truth. “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” (Isaiah 43:4).

My life has been transformed by Jesus, and I want nothing more than to share this joy and freedom with others by introducing them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. More specifically, I desire to show the athletes who I will walk with that their sport isn’t who they are; rather, it is something they do and can bring glory to God through; our true identity is in being sons and daughters of Christ. My prayer to the Lord is “that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul… Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others… It will be You, shining on others through me.” – St. John Henry Newman

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I am excited to have the opportunity to not only go on mission, but to also be able to invite many others to go on mission with me and become fellow workers in the truth. Just as some give by going on the mission, some go by giving to the mission. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I would be honored to share this mission with you! My cell is (605) 786-4716.

Find other missionaries

FOCUS brings the joy of the Gospel to colleges and parishes across the United States (and beyond)!
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By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

FOCUS Find A Missionary Teach Others Share Christ Smiling

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on.

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