Currently I am on mission in Bismarck, ND, with the team of missionaries that serves University of Mary!
“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation.” | Around the time I started high school, I first recognized in myself a desire to be a missionary. Stories of men like Jim Elliot and St. Francis Xavier inspired me to want to do something great – radical, even – with my life that affected a lot of people for good. My original ideas for what that could look like involved applying the knowledge from a future engineering degree to foreign aid or humanitarian works in a largely unevangelized developing nation, being keen to take any opportunities for travel to those places to speak to local people who the project would help about Jesus.
“You cannot serve God and money.” | After high school, I enrolled at Auburn University and began to study civil engineering, a field that I enjoyed and in which I thought I could help a lot of people in many ways. During my second year of studies, a FOCUS missionary named Will introduced himself to me. As I came to know him, I found Will was someone who had taken to heart the many warnings and exhortations in the Scriptures to spend this life preparing for the next; he prayed for multiple hours each day, fasted twice weekly, and donated his money generously. I very much wanted to be like him.
“The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with all who are born of the Spirit.” | Near the end of my third year, I traveled with another FOCUS missionary who was at Auburn named Alli on a mission trip to Guyana where I participated in door-to-door evangelization. While traveling back to the United States at the end of the week, she asked me if I’d ever thought about being a FOCUS missionary myself. I told her I’d never seriously considered it and provided a few excuses as to why I couldn’t be one, but Alli saw right through them, saying I had basically been a missionary for the previous week and even really enjoyed it. The possibility that God was calling me to become one occupied much of my mind for the next two weeks – at the end of which I found myself interviewing to be a FOCUS missionary. I realized that it would be tragic if I always said I was open to the Holy Spirit but never actually followed Him, so when FOCUS invited me to join them, I said yes.
“There is no one who has left house or lands for my sake and for the Gospel who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” | In His call to me to be a missionary, I was taken far from the place I grew up, first spending two and a half years evangelizing at two universities in Texas. After my graduation, I moved to San Marcos, TX, in January of 2018, partnering with Our Lady of Wisdom University Parish which adjoins Texas State University. In August of that year I moved to Waco, where for two years I assisted the evangelization efforts of St. Peter Catholic Student Center which sits adjacent to Baylor University. During my time in Waco, three men who were a part of my Saturday morning Bible study decided to join the Catholic Church, and I was the sponsor of each of them in the sacrament of Confirmation. Please, pray for Ryan, Jackson, and Ryan as they grow as Christians!
“Widen your hearts also.” | After two and half years in Texas, I moved back east for a year and became responsible for a team of missionaries in Mobile, AL, proposing the Gospel to students at University of South Alabama in conjunction with Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Student Center. The following year I moved back west along the Gulf Coast to Kingsville, TX, evangelizing at Texas A&M University – Kingsville with the leaders of St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center. These moves stretched me to accept even more people in new places, and the responsibility as team director led me to embrace a new boldness in preaching the Gospel.
“In thinking be mature.” | During those two years in which I was a team director, FOCUS had been putting together a partnership with University of Mary which would allow a handful of missionaries to study for a master’s degree while evangelizing on campus at Mary. Despite the fact that I had told myself I would never go back to school after my undergrad, I applied for the program with a new conviction about the importance of intellectual formation stemming from conversations with my friends Brandon and Mercedes, being reminded of some words of St. Josemaria Escriva, “There is no excuse for those who could be scholars and are not.” FOCUS and the Catholic Studies professors thought it would be a good fit for me to join the MA in Catholic Studies program, so I moved to Bismarck, ND, in the summer of 2022, joined the team of missionaries at University of Mary, and enrolled in classes.
Please, pray for me as I continue as a missionary and student!
When I said yes to FOCUS, I committed to relying on the spiritual and financial support of others to help me through this mission. I’ve been blessed with a team of very generous people who have partnered with me as I made this decision and began this journey. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you, and we can schedule a call. You can reach me by phone at (904) 945-8142 or email at [email protected]. I’m excited to have you join me in this mission!