I am in my first year of serving at the University of Tampa. The University of Tampa is an expansion campus for FOCUS, so alongside my team, I have been tasked with starting a new program there. Because there is no pre-existing campus ministry, we will be starting a program from ground-zero. I consider this to be a great honor from God and am so incredibly excited to begin serving the students of UT.
Growing up Catholic Christian, I’ve always had a love for the Lord in some capacity. Throughout my childhood, especially through being homeschooled, I was given all the tools to learn about Jesus and the logical truths of the faith. Though I was given all of the right tools, just like 8 out of 10 people under the age of 23 today, I drifted from my faith as I was entering into college.
At Tyler Junior College, I focused on my studies, wrapping my identity up into the work I was doing for the student newspaper, my relationship status, and into being a leader at my job. I attended Mass on Sunday, but that was the extent of any religious activity. Although people around me had no idea, I had drifted away by not intentionally choosing Christ and instead becoming focused on all the fake promises of what the world was selling. When I transferred to Stephen F. Austin State University, I began to meet people at the Catholic campus ministry (including FOCUS missionaries!) who simply wanted to be my friend and didn’t want to “take” anything from me. After encountering authentic friends who desired freedom and virtue for me, I knew I had to change my life around.
When I decided to follow Christ, I could not waste ANY time. The day I decided I needed change, I started going to daily Mass and praying for an hour each day. I had spent so long rejecting God, that I knew a relationship with Him was the only thing that would help me to be restored. As I was pursuing this relationship with God, I began to get more involved in FOCUS Bible studies, discipleship, and at my campus ministry as a media intern.
I learned during this time that God has a burning desire to know my heart and to encounter me in the middle of my most wholesome and my most shameful moments. This is why I accepted God’s invitation to be a missionary: to bring the good news that Christ desires intimacy with each person uniquely and to be a living witness that He is the only one who can ever satisfy our thirst.
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’ve been blessed with the most amazing people who have began to journey with me as I get sent onto campus. If this mission or my story inspires you in any way, I want to talk with you! Please reach out to me personally either by phone (815) 830-9700 or through email at [email protected]. It would be a privilege to have you partner with me in this life-changing mission!