“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” -Henri Nouwen
We serve at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Go Mocs!!!) where Ryan will be a second year and Mikayla will be going into her third year!!
After joining a bible study my freshman year, leading my own, and discipleship, I have personally seen the great joy in knowing others’ hearts intimately – the beauty in the brokenness. After a wild journey of various college majors with potential for different jobs following graduation, one of our campus missionaries reached out to me with an encouragement to look at FOCUS as a post-grad option. Through answering her questions, it was revealed it would be a great gift to spend my time making sure people, especially college students, feel loved, challenged, and affirmed. Now as a missionary, I get to spend everyday sharing how God, the Father, has loved me and how He desires to pour Himself out for His children.
When starting college, I saw it as an open invitation to become independent in all things. Sadly, that included absentmindedly seeking independence despite Jesus’s desires for me. A good man met me at my freshman orientation camp and he walked with me throughout college. It was through this man that I was well loved and saw that I had a desperate need to be dependent on Jesus. I began leading a bible study and walking with other men who were struggling as I had been. Now I am serving at a missionary with FOCUS.
Amidst both of our journeys back into intimate relationships with Jesus, we met each other. We were invited to staff a retreat at our college Catholic center, where we met. Ryan was struck by Mikayla’s disposition and her beauty. So, naturally Ryan asked Mikayla on a date – she said no. They remained friends! Mikayla (a couple months later) was struck by Ryan’s goofiness and how free she felt around him. So, she asked Ryan if the date was still on the table! The rest is history. We dated for a little more than a year when Ryan proposed in April of 2021. A mere eight months later, we were married!!
When joining FOCUS, we made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help us on mission. We’ve been blessed with amazing people who have journeyed with us as we serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with us, please let us know of the best way to reach you and we will schedule an appointment. We’d be honored to share this mission with you!!