Hey! My name's Bryan. I'm a FOCUS missionary.
Hey! My name's Bryan. I'm a FOCUS missionary.
I’m incredibly excited and blessed to be serving at Wayne State College!
As an undergraduate student at The University of Nebraska - Lincoln, I witnessed a lot of brokenness and despair (beyond just college football). I heard the cry of the poor, the lonely, the forgotten, the depressed, and the lost students on our campus, and it broke my heart. These students are in desperate need of Hope, Love, and Courage. FOCUS and The Newman Center are providing this desperately needed Hope and Love. We are reminding these students of their immeasurable worth, their purpose, and of their most worthy and true identity - sons and daughters of a God who profoundly loves them!
For most of college, I believed God wanted me to climb the tallest and most challenging mountain I could find for Him. The best way to honor Him was to challenge myself as much as I could, even if I had to miserably struggle all the way to the top. I’ve come to realize this is far from the truth. God created us “…that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). God created a specific mountain for each of us to climb, one that reveals His Love, his goodness, and his beauty. One that reveals my own goodness, my purpose, and my identity as His son. Yes, some days will still be challenging, dark, and lonely, but that is when God reveals my strength, His guidance and truth, and His presence. He created a mountain for me to climb that won’t just bring me higher but will bring me closer to Him.
For most of college, the destination at the top of my mountain was becoming a physician. It was a noble goal but was also selfish and prideful. Although I desired to help people and have a deep passion for science, I equally desired the money, the prestige, and the glory. My entire life revolved around climbing this mountain until the Fall of my junior year when Ben Kranda, a FOCUS missionary, invited me into his life.
Words can’t describe what my heart felt after hanging out with Ben and the other missionaries. After two years entrenched in the Greek system and secular college culture, it was as though my heart was seeing and feeling in color again, after years of black and white. My surroundings had numbed my heart to the life around me, the good and the bad. The genuine joy and unconditional love I witnessed in these missionaries was a ray of sunshine on a seemingly dark and despairing campus. “What did these missionaries have that I didn’t? I go to Mass every weekend, what else is there?” I can’t tell you how many times I asked myself this question. What I didn’t realize, is that going to Mass every Sunday is but only taking a cup of water out of the ocean. I was taking a cup of water each week when I was really being called to swim in it every day.
Ben’s investment in me is one of the most important things to happen in my entire life. Through his guidance, encouragement, and prayers, I began to fall in love with and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for the first time in my life. Prayers were no longer the regurgitation of words I memorized in grade school, but rather an intimate and personal conversation with Jesus himself. I began to realize the unfathomable and eternal magnitude and consequences of the words “I believe...”. The only thing left for me to do was to surrender my will and pride for God’s will, to jump off my mountain, and climb his.
It wasn’t until a year later, after I took the MCAT, and applied and interviewed for medical school, that I finally surrendered to God's unceasing love and plan for me. I realized that while my will and goal had an earthly destination, His will was to transform me and prepare me for an eternal destination. Although it may still be part of His will for me, God’s ultimate goal for me is not to be a physician. His goal for me is to be a faithful, loving, patient, selfless, and joyful husband, father, and friend.
Ben’s investment in me changed my entire life. Thanks to Ben’s invitation, every single day of my life, every single interaction and conversation I have is going to have more peace, love, and joy. I’m going to be a better husband, father, friend, and coworker thanks to Ben. His small investment changed my entire life, and I want to do the same for as many men as I can.
FOCUS transformed my faith from a characteristic I viewed as a part of my life to the lens itself, from which I now see everything else through. What used to be a piece of my identity has become my identity itself, and everything I do is in relation to it. It forced me to truly consider the question, “Do I believe?” If so, then no part of our faith could be left untouched. This is literally the most important work we could be doing in the entire world. Lastly, FOCUS forced me to truly examine the depths of my heart, where I discovered longings and desires that had been covered and distorted by the secular world. In a seemingly constrained and despairing world, FOCUS brought me freedom and hope.
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. Your support is as important to the mission as the field work is itself. Your generosity is the only way I can be fully and radically available to students, as Ben was to me. Your support allows me to take the hand of these fallen students, help them up, and lead them into the hands of our heavenly father. 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.
We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.
By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.
We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …