Payton Burnett

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Where I serve

God has called me to serve my second year on staff at the University of Dallas. I am excited to start up FOCUS here, as UD is one of the new expansion campuses. My experience this past year at the University of Tennessee has prepared me in many ways for this, and I am hopeful about this new adventure. I know I will continue to learn and grow as I seek out lost souls and guide them in pursuing a personal relationship with the Lord.

My Story

When I started college at Baylor, I was somewhat religious, thanks to my Catholic upbringing and education. I did not, however, have a deep personal relationship with Jesus, know that I was missing one, or realize that having one transforms your entire life. Because of this, the allures of the college environment were drawing me further and further from the Lord. I wanted to fit in and do what it seemed like everyone else was doing. My identity was in what others thought of me and how many friends I had. I was also starting to doubt my faith at this time, as I had never before questioned why I believed what I believed and was suddenly in the minority religion-wise for the first time in my life. 

By the grace of God, I met a FOCUS missionary during my sophomore year who invited me into her life through casual hangouts, asking me to join her Bible study, sharing such truth with me in the midst of my doubt, and loving me how I had never before been loved by a friend. Samantha exuded a joy that was so contagious, and I could tell she had something that I didn’t. I knew that whatever it was, I wanted it. Through holy friendships, developing a consistent prayer and sacramental life, and reading Scripture, I grew to know Jesus intimately and how He loves me so intentionally and pursues my heart ceaselessly. Because of this, I began making big changes in my life, so I could serve Him as He deserves and calls us to.

Seeing how God used Sam and others in my life to bring me back to Him helped me figure out that my biggest passion in life is serving others spiritually. I want to continually strive to be the person God made me to be and to bring as many souls to Heaven as I can. That is why I am here now doing what I am doing as a FOCUS missionary, realizing that there is a cost to taking no action. There’s a great urgency knowing that to the degree we respond or don’t respond to God’s call is the degree to which souls are saved or lost. God placed me at the University of Dallas for a reason, and I plan to give my all to the students in front of me and bring to them the truth and love that comes with knowing Christ.

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 feel blessed with the most amazing people who journey with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please send me an email at [email protected] I would love to schedule a time to talk, and I'd be truly honored to share this mission with you!

“Some Give by Going, Others Go by Giving” –Mother Teresa

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 …