Joseph Henkels

Hey! My name is Joseph and I'm a FOCUS missionary!

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Where I serve

I currently serve at West Virginia University! I work with students at the university to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, whether that is in one-on-one mentorship, group bible studies, or great campus events! This is my second assignment after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh and serving at the University of Maryland.

My Story

After graduating high school I entered the seminary for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. I spent two and a half years there discerning if the Lord was calling me to be a priest. While I enjoyed my time there getting to know Christ and His Church better, and growing in fellowship with the men around me, I discerned out in the fall of 2013. After discerning out I really had no idea what God was calling me to do, I just knew it wasn't seminary. This began the lowest year of my life when my relationship with God was damaged and put on the back burner.

I felt lost and abandoned not knowing which way to turn. I knew that God wanted me to do something else with my life, but I did not know what that was. I turned to running and other things a 21 year old would do to fill my life with happiness and meaning, yet there was still emptiness. It was not until I started to attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2014 that I met a FOCUS missionary named Josh that stepped into my life and became one of my closest friends. During that semester we hung out multiple times a week getting to know each other better. I knew that he was striving for something great. He then invited me to SEEK 2015 in Nashville, TN. This became the opportunity that I said yes to and it changed my life.

I attended SEEK 2015 with Josh, hundreds of other FOCUS missionaries, and 8,000 other college students. It was there in adoration that the Lord reached into my heart and began to heal it so that I had the capacity to love greater. He told me that I was wasting my life. He had created me for something bigger, something greater. He had created me to be His son, and bring others into relationship with Him and His Church. 

In the fall of 2015 I applied to be a FOCUS Missionary and I said yes to their offer! It has been an amazing journey and continues to challenge me and amaze me. To see God working in the lives around me, and being able to help college students find what they were created for. 

In the Fall of 2016 I married my beautiful bride Katie on September 4th! During our time at the University of Maryland we were blessed to welcome a new person into the world! Louise Claire was born on October 20th!

Thank you to all of the people that already support us both financially and spiritually! We would not be able to serve the men and women on campus without your help! You are each in our daily prayers! 


Your Impact

HELP ME CHANGE LIVES! When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I'd be honored to share this mission with you. 

(I highly recommend taking 3 minutes and 50 seconds to watch this video)

Know, Love and Serve God

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

Build Virtuous Friendships

By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …