Howdy! My name is Vince Duarte and I’m a FOCUS missionary at the United States Air Force Academy. It’s such an honor to serve with some of our nation’s finest men and women, who will go on to be future officers and leaders. I hope to live with discipline in order to share the gospel with cadets who are already making the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I was discerning the military myself, so I’m humbled by the Lord’s call for my life now.
If you’ve ever been to Gainesville, you’veprobably heard of Midtown. Here you’ll find a strip of bars and clubs full almost every night. And, at the end of the block,is abeautiful and historic church called St. Augustine. I walked in on a busy Friday night on my first week of college, and my life was changed. I had met Jesus that night in the blessed sacrament and finally received the purpose I was looking for.
Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man. Luke 5:8
I graduated from the University of Florida with an engineering degree in computer science. However, in my last semester, I could hear God calling me to mission through Luke’s gospel. I can relate to Simon Peter, like him I was out on the water all night and felt I had caught nothing. Often, I feel unworthy to be here. But Jesus always reminds his disciples, “Do not be afraid.”
I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3
I am so grateful to God for your generosity! You are a witness to Christ, and it brings me joy and humility. Like St. Paul also writes to the Ephesians, the grace for mission is a gift from God so I may not boast. He prepared the good works in advance as they are only possible through people like you!