DENVER, Colo., March 14, 2017 — While typical college students may see spring break as a time to focus on themselves and work on their tans, students who participate on mission trips with FOCUS Missions give back by serving a community in need, usually through a combination of manual labor, spiritual rejuvenation and community bonding.
Mission trips include opportunities for daily Mass and prayer, along with time to personally connect and share the love of Christ with local community members. Since 2004, more than 5,000 college students and FOCUS staff have traveled the globe on hundreds of mission trips. During the 2016 – 2017 academic year, FOCUS Missions will host nearly 125 trips in 45 countries.
Mission trip locations include service opportunities in countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Australia and Europe, along with trips to underserved populations in the United States. Belize is a new destination for FOCUS Missions this year, with a trip scheduled March 17 – 26. Participants will serve alongside the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).
Will Goggans, a FOCUS missionary at University of North Florida in Jacksonville, is going on the Belize trip along with Uche Onyibe, an international student from Nigeria studying at that campus. Onyibe will be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who also served on mission in Belize.
“We will be doing door-to-door evangelization to assess the physical and spiritual needs of the local community,” said Goggans. “The group will also help put on a Lenten Mission with a local parish to draw people back into their Catholic faith. I am excited to encounter Christ in the community members.”
Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, has a group of ten students, three FOCUS missionaries and the campus minister on mission in Quito, Ecuador, from March 10 – 17. They are working on agricultural projects while spreading the faith to community members through catechesis.
FOCUS Missions also coordinates sports camps and FOCUS Greek trips, such as the March 24 – April 2 trip to Rome, during which students will serve the destitute in orphanages and prisons alongside the Missionaries of Charity.
Medical mission trips to Peru, Argentina and the Philippines give students in the medical field an opportunity to share their medical skills and the love of Christ. A full list of trips is at www.focusmissions.org.
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998 and invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2016 – 2017 academic year, nearly 600 missionaries are serving full-time on 125 college campuses, located across 38 U.S. states and in two pilot locations in Austria. More than 20,000 FOCUS alumni have been prepared to evangelize parishes throughout the U.S. Within this number, more than 600 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects to launch 75,000 alumni into America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. To learn more, visit us at www.focus.org.