Hey! My name’s Stephanie. I’m a FOCUS missionary and Senior Manager of Formation – New Staff Training, where I spend most days preparing to train our missionaries before they are sent out to campus to reach every corner of our campuses with the Gospel. Read on for more about the life-changing work of FOCUS and my small corner of it each day!
I’m excited to be jumping into my eighth year on staff and my fourth year working at FOCUS headquarters! After serving my first four years on campus serving the students at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, serving lots of athletes and walking with a number of incredible women as they drew near to the Lord as His disciples, I felt the Lord’s invitation to come “further up and further in” to this incredible mission and relocated to Denver to join the Formation Team at our national headquarters! I love managing my two teammates, and together, we make New Staff Training happen! As our founder, Curtis Martin, frequently says at the start of each training, “If you live differently for a month, you can live differently for a lifetime!”
I’m putting my English and Secondary Education degrees to work to train our 800 missionaries each summer in what they need to know to love and serve well in their work on campus. You can also find me occasionally writing and editing various resources, giving talks here and there, and helping to train FOCUS staff in how to utilize the “Foundations for Discipleship” resource I helped create – you can purchase your own copy in the FOCUS store!
As a student-athlete at Drake University, I didn’t think I had the time or the knowledge to really share my faith with others. But that all changed when a senior invited me to her Bible study my freshman year.
There, the Catholic faith was made accessible to me by her teaching me how to pray and how to really read the Bible in a way that allowed Jesus to speak to my heart what He wanted for my life. By making prayer a consistent part of my life and by learning how to share my faith from various FOCUS missionaries, Jesus gave me the grace to understand that I could live my life in one of two ways: the way I wanted, which would probably lead to some degree of happiness, or I could surrender my life to Him and watch Him transform it into a life filled with more joy than I could ever imagine.
So, I became a FOCUS missionary in the hope that I could lead students to Jesus in the same way that someone else did for me, and Jesus has blessed that decision beyond belief! In my six years on staff, I’ve witnessed students join the Church, gone on five mission trips to serve poor in other countries, mentored multiple leaders as they’ve shared their faith with others, and even walked with a number of students as they’ve gone on to become missionaries themselves with various mission organizations. It blows me away what Jesus can do with one small yes, and even more, what He can do with many daily yeses over the course of years!
FOCUS provides an amazing opportunity not only to transform the lives of college students for Christ, but also to engage communities and individuals across the country in the mission of FOCUS. When I answered the call to become a missionary, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. Not everyone has the availability to give two years of their lives in service to the Church, but everyone can get involved in the mission of FOCUS through prayer and financial support.
I’ve been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus, and I’ve seen the ways that Jesus has blessed not just my mission on campus but the lives of my support team through this ministry. The body of Christ is truly at work!
If you are interested in partnering with me form our staff and students to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, please contact me at [email protected], and I will reach out to schedule an appointment with you. I’d be honored to share this mission with you and to discuss how the Lord may be calling you to help!