Steven and Annie Loya

Hey! We are Steven and Annie. We're a FOCUS missionary couple at Ave Maria University.

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Where we serve

We serve because we understand the mission of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church exists in order to evangelize. When we realized this, we became convicted of this mission and the particular need on the college campus. In the Great Commission, Christ calls each and every one of us to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Before becoming a missionary, I never truly understood that our faith isn’t solely about our own relationship with Christ, but rather, there are two sides to it: receiving and giving. We are all called to evangelize whether we have the title of “missionary” or not. Annie and I have been called to serve as full time missionaries through FOCUS to engage and equip this generation of leaders.

Annie and I got married on May 5th, 2017. This was the day that we said "yes" to go on mission with each other by entering into the life-long covenant of marriage. We will be living our mission together at Ave Maria University with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). We are so excited to share the good news of the gospel with these college students.

Our Story

          What will happen if you say “yes”?

Steven 

What if I said “yes” to a Bible Study?

It was my sophomore year at Benedictine College that I gave into the party culture. I started drinking for the first time, trying to find fulfillment. It was through the grace of God that a missionary invited the soccer team into a Bible study. I decided to say “yes.” My best friend Elliott was agnostic at the time and was also into the party culture. For weeks my friends and I would ask Elliott if he wanted to attend Bible study, he would respond with a “no, I’m good.” Finally one week he decided to say “yes.” From this moment on, Elliott’s life would never be the same.

What if I said “yes” to a FOCUS conference?

At SEEK 2013, a FOCUS national conference, Elliott and I had a radical conversion to Christ through the power of Eucharistic Adoration. After this conference I saw Elliott’s life changed; he gave up the party scene and began to truly believe in Christ. At the same time of his conversion, I was having a re-conversion to Christ, to truly desire a relationship with God and to find fulfillment in Christ. A year later Elliott said “yes” to join the Catholic Church.

What if I said “yes” to being a missionary?

Could I make a difference? What will this do for my career? How do you fundraise your salary? These were the questions that was stirring in my heart my senior year of college. I decided to take a leap of faith and become this FOCUS missionary, even though I didn’t understand fully what the job was. This leap of faith brought me into a deeper relationship with Christ.

Annie

What if I said “yes” to being open?

When Steve first became a FOCUS missionary, I firmly believed that this was “Steve’s mission. Not mine”. I would be supportive, but I didn’t need FOCUS, and FOCUS didn’t need me. After Steve and I got engaged, I moved halfway across the country to be with him in Ohio and agreed to live in the women’s missionary household and take on a bare-minimum involvement with the ministry. During my year with the missionaries, I was changed. I experienced such authentic love and friendship that it changed my perspective on my life and my Lord.  I learned that it is the call of all Christians to spread the message of God’s love, but even more than that, my heart started yearning to help others experience this life-changing encounter. Turns out, this wasn’t just “Steve’s mission” and maybe I needed FOCUS after all. So I had to consider, “Did FOCUS maybe need me, too?”

What if I said “yes” to full time mission work?

Living with FOCUS missionaries sparked in me the desire and the urgent need to spread the Good News of the Gospel, but I still needed to take the question to the Lord on how HE was calling me to do this work. This year I am expanding my trust in the Lord by joining Steve on full time mission at Ave Maria University. I am overjoyed that FOCUS has equipped us with the tools and training to participate in this missionary work and a model for how to pass these same tools onto others. I am so excited for the opportunity to glorify the Lord and transform lives through our friendships with the students here.

Your Impact

What if you said “yes” to joining us on mission?

What if God is calling you to take a leap of faith? What if God is calling you onto mission by supporting? What if God is asking you to trust him even more than you already do? 

These are all questions that we cannot answer. They are questions that Annie and I ask you to prayerfully consider. If God is asking you to radically trust him by supporting us, then imagine… 

         what will happen if you say “yes”? 

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 …