Hayden Merkel

Howdy! My name's Hayden. I'm a FOCUS, Varsity Catholic missionary.

Support Hayden

Where I serve

I have been called to be a full-time FOCUS missionary at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. I will be moving to Dubuque this August to share life and the gospel with college students and student-athletes. I'd love to get to know you personally and share with you the amazing ways in which Jesus is working in my life and at Loras!

My Story

My story is constantly being developed, but the moment Christ rocked my world was during my senior year of college. At that time, my goals were to earn excellent grades, have leadership positions, perform research, and to build my resume for medical school. Life became a checklist. As I gradually checked off my goals, I became steadily unhappy and unfulfilled.

In addition to school, I was also a cross country/track runner. Being trapped in a culture purely striving for results, awards, and recognition turned my deep passion for running into undesirable work. Lack of support from coaches and teammates exacerbated the problem.

It was a year ago when Jesus showed me I assessed my worth and identity in what I achieved. Some FOCUS missionaries came along and invited me into a community where I found my identity as a son of God. Since then, I have let Christ be the light, joy, and peace in my life.

Pope Benedict XVI once said, "If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing... He takes nothing away and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ - and you will find true life."

As a result of my continual encounter with Christ, I have decided to be a FOCUS missionary and to lead students to have a personal relationship with Christ and his Church! My vision is to lead others to be who they are truly meant to be, not who they want to be.

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. 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.  You can reach me at 812-212-1608 or [email protected]

Your sponsorship enables me to...                                  

~ Mentor students in weekly one-on-one discipleship meetings                                   ~ Lead weekly bible studies and provide tools on the New Evangelization                 ~ Invest in athletes and coaches through sporting events                                    
~ Live with my team of missionaries near campus                                                           ~ Bring students to FOCUS national conferences such as SEEK and SLS                     ~ Invite students to come on foreign mission trips  

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 …