Gretchen McLaughlin

Hello! My name's Gretchen. I'm a FOCUS missionary.

Support Gretchen

Where I serve

I serve at the University of North Dakota! Go Fighting Hawks!

Meet team UND, from left to right: Derek Hayden, Sarah Hayden, myself, Patrick Hagenbucher, Father Luke Meyer, Madeline Carson, and Allyson Harris.

My Story

  Throughout my life, I have had a desire to know God better. I understood who He was and I had gone on retreats where I experienced "retreat highs" but Jesus never became a priority in my life. My sophomore year in college, I began to get frustrated with my life and I could not seem to find happiness anywhere I looked. Occasionally, I opened my Bible or went to Mass because I thought there was a chance I would encounter God in a radical way but I never had that eye opening moment. My junior year, I was getting ready for Mass in the bathroom of the dorms I lived in and there was a girl next to me who also appeared to be getting ready for Mass. She asked me if I was going to Mass at the Newman Center, I said yes and after that she invited me into her Bible study. I began to attend her Bible study with my roommate and we both began attending daily Mass, confession and Eucharistic Adoration on a daily basis as well. Through the Bible study, I learned so much more than I could have imagined knowing about Jesus and one evening walking back to my room from Mass, I remember having a conversation with my roommate telling her "I have been here before, I have gotten excited about Jesus but I have always let it go. This time is different, I can't let go and I don't want to let go. My life has changed and there is no way I can go back". Since that moment, I have been aware of my relationship with Jesus Christ and I have been actively running toward Him and seeking Him in all that I do. After learning who Jesus is and how He loves me, I cannot help but want to share His love with every person I encounter.

Your Impact

I would appreciate your prayers and support in pursuing authentic friendships with the students I will meet on campus this year. FOCUS has played a huge role in developing friendships in my life, and I want others to have the same kind of opportunity I did. While establishing those friendships, I hope to give the students I will serve the opportunity to encounter Jesus and to encounter an authentic friendship with Him as well. I want to thank you in advance for your gifts, I assure you the reward is much greater for you and the beautiful souls we will encounter than it is for me. 

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 …