Where I serve
A few years ago I found myself at a FOCUS conference in Dallas, Texas surrounded by 2,000 of my peers and for the first time in my life I encountered not the historical figure Jesus of Nazareth, but the real person of Jesus Christ who wanted a relationship with me. I learned that not only did I also want this relationship, but that I was created for it. I returned back to my university so ready to share the love of Christ with everyone there, and in March 2014 I accepted an offer to serve with FOCUS. From 2014-2016 I served as an on campus missionary mentoring women and walking in discipleship with them and Jesus. I am so excited to say that after these two wonderful years, I will now be working alongside a team of individuals who not only planned the conference that I attended three years ago, but I will be assisting in the planning of a national conference that will serve over 10,000 students across the nation. As I make this transition into our headquarters office in Denver, Colorado to work with the FOCUS Events team, I invite you to read more about my story and consider supporting me as I support the missionaries and their efforts on campus.
Photo: A few of the students and myself with Matt Fradd (chastityproject.com) after he spoke in Omaha. (October 2015)
You can learn a lot about a person if you know something about the person they most admire. I would like to share with you about my grandmother, Patricia Quinlan. My Grandma loved to play tennis, walk her dog Shadow, watch baseball on TV, and there isn't a single Sunday I ever remember her not attending church. I grew up visiting my grandma and grandpa in Tucson, Arizona each summer for a few weeks. Of coarse I loved to eat her home made cinnamon rolls, and no one makes fruit salad quite as good as her, but it wasn't until I was a senior in High School that I really started becoming close to my Grandma. Maybe it was because I was growing up, but the few summers I spent with her in High school and college I learned lessons that I will never forget.
At the age of 79, my Grandma was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She made the tough decision to fight it, and underwent surgery. After a year of treatment she was cancer free...for a few months. And then it was back. She battled this cancer off and on for over 5 years. Each summer I would go and stay for about a month. Sitting with her at Chemo treatments, I noticed how the nurses loved their patients and how the patients loved the nurses.
I was with my Grandma as she asked tough questions about life, but none stick out in my memory quite like the question she asked of a dear priest friend of hers. She asked, "why is there suffering in the world?" Without skipping a beat Father Bob responded, that with out suffering there can be no love. I watched her suffer, and it was not easy. We live in a world where suffering is misunderstood, and often avoided. She suffered, and we, her family, suffered with her. But suffering does not come without the hope and love, and it is from my Grandma that I learned joyful suffering. Without this, life is just unbearable.
As I graduated college, and joined FOCUS to serve as a missionary I remember my Grandmother questioning my decision, but in the few months before her passing I remember her telling me that she was proud of me. And that she wished there were more young people willing to do what I was doing. I will always be grateful for the time I had to share with my Grandma Patricia, and although I miss her dearly I am so thankful that she was able to teach me by her own example, and I hope that over the years I will be able to do the same for others.
. You can read about my time on campus from 2014-2016 at my blog:
Photo: My Family and I after my graduation in Flagstaff, AZ. (May 2014)
I am so unbelievably blessed that God has called me to this mission of
serving others through FOCUS. I couldn't be more excited to continue working with an organization that supports college
students, whom I know from first hand, need the loving support in
forming their faith. It is only with the financial and spiritual support of others that I will
be able to continue in this mission, and one of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa puts it perfectly, "Some give to the mission by going and others go on the mission by giving." I have the faith in God that He
will lead me to those who believe in the mission and desire to go with me through their support. Thank you for reading my page, and thank you especially to those who are already supporting me. I hope you know how much I appreciate all that you do. May God bless you, and if you have
any specific prayer intentions please email or call me, I would be happy
to pray for you!