Ryan & Mikayla Vaughan

Howdy! We thank Jesus that you are here! ◡̈

Where We serve

We live in Johnson City Tennessee and Ryan is the Team Director for the campus of East Tennessee State University. Go Bucs! Please pray for us as this is an expansion campus. This means that FOCUS missionaries have never worked on this campus before.

Our Story

Ryan’s Story

I was involved in youth group at my parish in high school, but I found myself living a life of duplicity. My words and my beliefs were not matching my actions. When I went to Texas A&M for college that did not change much. I struggled to keep my morality in line with my Catholic beliefs. Providentially, I met one of my now best friends (who was living as a faithful Catholic) at orientation camp. While I was living in these places of sin, this friend continued to be a steady part of my life. After a transformative experience with the story of St. Peter on Aggie Awakening, I realized my life style and attitude needed to change. I embarked on my journey with Christ and allowed him to show me the places I was running from him. I began attending daily mass, praying, and began learning more about the faith I was choosing.

Mikayla’s Story

It is a grace to say I have never strayed from my Catholic faith. I was involved in faith formation at my parish and Catholic high school and had a beautiful community surrounding me. When I went to college that changed. I did not cultivate any friendships for quite a while in college and it was a lonely experience. During that time, I began attending daily mass. I’d arrive early and leave late simply because I didn’t have much else to do and I found myself comfortable in the sanctuary. My story began to change when I staffed Aggie Awakening and met a community of people I found myself joyful and comfortable around – it was a grace my heart longed for. Following that retreat, I had a small community and began to dive deeper into my relationship with God the Father. I learned my identity was based in my relationship as daughter and that I was the beloved of the Father. Through a Father’s House retreat and a silent retreat, I learned I am not loved based of what I achieve or how I act, but I am loved simply because I am created by Love and for love.

Our Story

The Aggie Awakening retreat mentioned in both our stories was the beginning of ~our~ story. As mentioned, that retreat had cultivated a community. So we spent quite a bit of time together in that group – going to football games, watching movies, and just spending time together. After a fun weekend, Ryan asked Mikayla on a date, to which she replied, “Not now.” We remained friends for the rest of the semester. By the end of that semester, Mikayla realized she was interested in that date still. After a Christmas break apart and a couple dates later, we were officially a couple. We dated for a little over a year before getting engaged on Easter Monday and we were married by December! Mikayla served as a FOCUS missionary for another year at Texas A&M while Ryan finished his degree and then our little family was sent to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where we served for a year and a half. During that time we wrestled with infertility and joyfully welcomed our son, Phinehas. Our story continues as we move up the road to East Tennessee State University.

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Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, we made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help us through this mission and support our family. We’ve been blessed with the most 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!

Find other missionaries

FOCUS brings the joy of the Gospel to colleges and parishes across the United States (and beyond)!
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Know, Love and Serve God

We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.

FOCUS Find A Missionary Build Virtuous Friendships Together

Build Virtuous Friendships

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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Want to learn more about Radiating Joy: The Michelle Duppong Story? CLICK HERE!
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