Joel Sarmiento

Hi, we're Joel and Alexandra! And like so many other college students we lost our identity while as freshmen in college.  It didn't end there though; our lives have been given back to us through and in Christ, and the work of FOCUS missionaries. 

Joel graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana with an Engineering degree and Alexandra from Auburn University with a degree in Marketing but the Lord had different plans for them. He asked them to help ignite others; to grow in freedom and love through an identity centered on their relationship with Jesus and be inspired to do the same for their peers. 

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Where I serve

We're now going into our third year with FOCUS and excited to announce we'll be serving at Franciscan University of Steubenville Ohio. Joel is serving as Team Director there with three other teammates. We hope to help them flourish on the mission so that we can raise up as many leaders as the Lord provides. 


My Story

As missionaries, our greatest desire is to lead all students to Christ. Our life has been transformed by Jesus and we want nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. We hadn't experienced this Joy until college.

Yet a desire had been stamped Joel's heart when his older brother Greg passed away. This left him feeling broken and desiring more. He found satisfaction to his desire for more in Christ and His Word in college. It was through a FOCUS missionary who invested in him and their friendship. In a similar way Jesus humbled Himself to meet us on our level, taking on our humanity, and spent most of His time investing deeply in a few. We look to Jesus’ own example to invest deeply into men and women on Franciscan's campus to help them know what they've been made for. 

The test of faith is love, heroic love, and heroism is not an obligation...How grand is this idea! The Church does not live contingent on duties, but instead the generosity of Her faithful! How grand is the confidence that God has extended to focus on our generosity and wait that we might respond! If He were to call, how would you respond?  
  St. Alberto Hurtado    


Your Impact

When we answered the call to join FOCUS, we made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help us through this mission. We've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with us as we serve on campus. 

Some give by going to the missions, some by giving to the missions. Without both there are no missions.
St. Therese of Lisieux  

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 …