Hannah Philpot

"Jesus promised his disciples three things: that they would be insanely happy, completely fearless, and in constant trouble." G.K. Chesterton

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Where I serve

"The hills are alive" with the sound of the Gospel at the University of Vienna! For the first time in FOCUS history, we are expanding abroad. Alongside my four teammates, we will travel to Austria to re-evangelize a continent that brought the Christian faith to the rest of the world.

My Story

The Bible Belt
Growing up in the "buckle of the Bible Belt" in Arkansas, I was blessed to be surrounded by Christians who were passionate about sharing their faith in Jesus. Through summer camps, Parish Religious Education, and my parish youth program, I thought I had Christianity "figured out". In my eyes, these experiences meant that I was Christian by association, and my own personal goodness would earn my way to Heaven.

Reality Check
It wasn't until my first semester at Missouri State University that I came into contact with a FOCUS missionary named Katie who invited me to truly live out my Catholic faith. I saw her lead a life of true joy. Katie wasn't my friend because I was a "good" person; she simply loved me with the grace of God. I began to see that with Katie, as with Christ, an intimate, self-sacrificial friendship was something I desired, but I could never earn on my own. The words of Saint Paul to the Ephesians allowed me to understand that it was "by grace" that I had been saved, "not by works so that no one may boast." I began to realize that Catholic Christianity finds its fullness in having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; it was then that I allowed Christ to replace my heart with His.

On Campus
My sophomore year, I began leading a Bible study and mentoring freshman girls. Over the years, the freshmen turned into sophomores, and the sophomores turned into juniors. Mentoring and leading this group of eclectic, spunky, striving group of women in a weekly Bible study became the highlight of my week and semester. I witnessed these women pursue not just goodness, but holiness. They wanted to know Christ and bring Him to their friends, families, and sorority sisters alike. The time and investment spent with these women has been, and continues to be, one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Looking Ahead
As I began to look toward the post-grad future, I couldn't help but think that I could be doing more; I just didn't have enough time to run to Christ with as many students as I wanted! The desire to reach out to college students was undeniable in my heart. I knew that by becoming a full-time FOCUS missionary I could help even more students live joyful lives for Christ by teaching them to personally encounter Christ, to invest in their relationship with Him through prayer and the Sacraments of the Church, and to live out their call to "make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:18-20). Over the past three years, it's been my great joy to teach students at Missouri State, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Southeast Missouri State how to multiply God's love on campus by intentionally investing in a few students through Bible studies and discipleship, and teaching those students to do the same.

Pictured above: SEMO student leaders, Addie and Elizabeth, with some of their Bible study participants, Charlie and Hannah.

Your Impact

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.

Your support enables me to:

  • Live with a team of missionaries near campus
  • Lead weekly Bible studies
  • Train students in prayer and evangelization
  • Invite students to yearly leadership conferences
  • Go on international mission trips with students (I've been to Lima, Peru, Mexico City, and Goa, India!)
  • Properly outfit students with Bibles, Catechisms, talks, and other resources

I thank you wholeheartedly for your time and support in this vital mission. Please contact me at (479) 409-2698 or [email protected] and let me know the best way to reach you. I'd be honored to share more about this mission with you!

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 …