College students! Did you know that statistics say you will probably leave the Church by the end of your four years?
Every student has been warned about the “freshman fifteen”: the weight gained your freshman year after the compounded effect of delivery pizza, all-nighters in the library and an increasing consumption of caffeine. To avoid this weight gain, most students come to college with a game plan to stay fit.
We arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska, with hearts ready to serve, not sure what God had planned for us. We had received an invitation to come on mission, and spirits were high as we prepared to give our all in a radical way. However, we didn’t know He had something totally different in store for us than what we had expected.
Although I may know that Jesus loves me, most of my decisions and actions come from my neediness: my need to be loved, appreciated, important, and known. Jesus doesn't actually move me in my everyday life; selfishness does.
So, how do I change that?
Recently, my friend and I decided to hike—for the first time in my life—a “fourteener.” (That’s a 14,000 ft. mountain, for those of you who live east of the Mississippi.) Six days of painkiller later, I was finally able to handle stairs again.
Hello, my name is Lisa, and I’m a SEEK Conference junkie.
Three and a half years ago, if you would have told me I would fly five hours solo, over 3,000 miles away from home, go on mission with absolutely no one I knew, and survive without one single anxiety attack… I probably would have collapsed on the floor and started balling my eyes out from pure gratitude. It’s an extremely dramatic thought, but it’s true. I would have been a mess.
Hip hop music, more than any other type of music, has infiltrated the culture of the youth. For your typical 21st century college student, if you grab one of their ear buds out of their ears when they’re walking to class, they’re listening to Drake, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, and all those other artists from hit radio. As a music genre, hip hop has a powerful influence on youth culture: consider how quickly the phrase “YOLO” caught on after being used in one song (“The Motto” by Drake)! An even more recent example is the phrase “turn down for what.” It sounds fun in the song… but then you realize what they’re truly saying… and then the moral implications of it on real people aren’t fun at all.
I didn’t understand the sort of messiness I was getting myself into until about the sixth week of school. I had just made it through the last week of the Crux and was in the middle of doing Gospel presentations with my students in Bible study. After hearing the regular response of “Uh…sure…I think that I could do that….yeah, I think I could try to make Jesus the center of my life…” for about the tenth time, I finally encountered something different.
As I share with you a glimpse of a day in the life on a mission trip to Africa, I invite you to look at these pictures and read these encounters with new eyes – although no picture can fully capture the spirit of the African people and the joy they exude.
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
For FOCUS, this means meeting college students across the nation where they are and challenging them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through personal relationships and friendship, we offer college students the true peace and fulfillment they seek in the good news of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith, inviting them to answer His calling in their lives.
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