Joseph Henkels

My name is Joseph and I'm a FOCUS missionary!

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Where I serve

I currently serve on the Philanthropy Engagement Team! I live in Pittsburgh and work with my team remotely in Denver. 

I have served at the University of Maryland, West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh. 

My Story

When I graduated high school I entered the seminary for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. I spend two and a half years there discerning if the Lord was calling me to be a priest. While I enjoyed my time there getting to know Christ better and growing in fellowship with the men around me, I discerned out in the fall of 2013. After discerning out I really had no idea what God was calling me to do, I just knew it wasn't seminary. This began the lowest year of my life, not being in good relation with the Lord. 

I felt lost and abandoned not knowing which way to turn. I knew that God wanted me to do something else with my life, but I did not know what that was. I turned to running and other things to fill my live with happiness and meaning, yet there was still emptiness. It was not until I started to attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2014 that I met a Focus missionary named Josh that stepped into my life and became one of my closest friends. During that semester we hung out multiple times a week and I knew I could trust him, so when he told me I should go to SEEK 2015 I had a feeling it wasn't really him asking me, but God asking me.

I attended SEEK 2015 with Josh, hundreds of other FOCUS missionaries, and 8,000 other college students. It was there in adoration that the Lord reached into my heart and healed it. He then told me that I was wasting my life, He had created me for something bigger. He had created me to be a missionary. 

In the fall of 2015 I applied to be a FOCUS Missionary and was offered the position! It has been an amazing journey. To see God working in my life, helping me to be the man I was created to be and to reach out and help those around me achieve greatness. I pray that I may never stop striving toward know God in a deeper way everyday, and to continue to challenge those around me to do the same. 

In the Fall of 2016 I married my beautiful bride Katie on September 4th! We served at the University of Maryland for 2 years, then we moved to Morgantown, WV where I was Team Director at WVU, and finally we moved back to Pittsburgh in 2019 so I could begin the Team Director role at the University of Pittsburgh. Now in 2021, our journey took another step joining the Philanthropy Engagement Team here in Pittsburgh. 

Thank you to all of the people that already support us both financially and spiritually! We would not be able to serve our Lord in this way without your support!! Know that you are all in our daily prayers!

Your Impact

HELP ME CHANGE LIVES! 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. 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. 

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 …