I’m excited to say that God is sending me to Angelo State University in West Texas for my first year as a full-time on-campus missionary with FOCUS. Though I haven’t been to campus yet, I know the Lord is preparing an encounter for me and the students at Angelo State, and I couldn’t be more pumped to go on this adventure!
At ASU, I will be serving on a team with three other amazing missionaries, and we’ve already started to get along as teammates and align our vision for evangelization.
As you’d expect, I first got involved with FOCUS as a student during college at Florida Atlantic University, but Jesus was already preparing my heart for an encounter with Him many years prior.
Growing up, my parents took our family to Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Boca Raton – a church I continued attending through college. For the most part, I hated going. I didn’t understand the purpose of the visits every Sunday, and couldn’t even say I really believed in God’s presence. However, that changed after I went to my first Catholic conference: Steubenville Orlando. At that weekend retreat, right before my freshman year of high school, it finally sunk in that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me in a very personal way.
After those couple days, I was super pumped to live out a life with Christ. I was just missing one thing: Community. All throughout high school, I didn’t know who I could really walk with in my faith as a friend and leader, and pretty quickly I began to fall back into the same lifestyle I had been living pre-reversion. But, by the grace of God, I never lost the desire to be a good Catholic.
Going into college, my heart was very receptive to the idea of being in Catholic community. The second day of freshman orientation, I ran into the Catholic Newman Center during a massive FAU tabling session. Once I started going to their events, I realized the FOCUS missionaries present within the Newman club were there to walk with me and lead me in a life for Jesus Christ. I began to weep at the realization that Christ was answering my great longing for Catholic community and authentic friendship.
The rest is history! I soon began going to bible studies, FOCUS events on campus, FOCUS national conferences, and I eventually started leading my own bible studies and joined FOCUS’ discipleship chain where I learned how to grow in virtue and holiness.
My sophomore through senior year at FAU I was with Catholic leadership on campus, serving as treasurer and then president of the Newman Center, helping plan and execute events for the students at FAU.
Throughout my years at FAU, I got to share the gospel with my fellow students in various circles of my life, either through bible study or my personal witness. I left whilst co-leading a discipleship group that had 7 committed students, and co-leading a large group bible study with upwards of 25 students a week.
All of this was a reality because Jesus presented FOCUS to me at the right place and the right time, and that was possible because the missionaries at FAU had a team of partners like you who freed them to fully dedicate their time to do Christ’s work.
With your generosity, I will be in countless student’s lives at the right place and the right time, and by the grace of God they will receive the transformation Christ wills for their life by OUR intercession. I’m glad you’re answering the call alongside me.