“So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
My first real encounter with Christ in the Eucharist was just a few years ago. I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis to a Christian family, and at the age of two my parents divorced. It was when I turned four that my mom met my stepdad, who was Catholic, and my mom and I converted to the Catholic Church. Going forward, I went to several different Catholic schools, but I never understood that our faith was so much more than just going to church every Sunday.
In high school, I had many friends who were involved with the youth group at their church, and it was obvious that they loved Jesus! I found how important they made the community at their church, and I found I desired the same thing, so I went to my first youth group at my parish. It was at this youth group that I found other Catholics who had a relationship with the Lord, and they wanted to bring others to Him. After a few months, I learned of this five-day summer faith camp that was packed with time for prayer and daily mass. While it was an extremely fun camp, it was here that I first experienced the Lord. I may have not known it then, but it was here that my faith truly began, and it is where I found myself desiring for more in my relationship with God.
I was continuously told about the retreat high where eventually I would find myself slipping from the faith, falling back into the old way of life I was living before camp. I did not want this to happen, so I tried to ask questions to my youth director about how to start reading the bible and how to start praying. This was going well for a few months, but eventually I started losing steam, and it wasn’t long before the pandemic hit. I stopped going to Mass, and really didn’t continue going until my first week of college that Fall.
I began college in the Fall of 2020, and it was at the first Mass at our welcome weekend that I first encountered FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). My desire to live for God quickly came back to my heart and I spent the next two years trying to balance my faith with my Commercial Aviation classes. During the Spring semester of my Sophomore year, I began to think of my future and how I desired to spend my life. Looking at the desires of my heart, I just couldn’t see myself continuing along the path of becoming a Commercial Pilot. I felt the Lord’s calling to serve His people in a different way, but I just couldn’t figure out what way that was. I knew I wanted to finish getting a degree, but I didn’t know where to go next. A couple weeks after I withdrew from my classes, I went on a mission trip to Baltimore to live a week in the life of Source of All Hope. I quickly fell in love with the mission of this organization and felt this would be an incredible time to take a year off of school to spend a year on mission. After some time in prayer after the mission trip, I was accepted! Now I joyously await the start of the mission year!
If you are reading this, I graciously ask for your prayers going into this year! At this time in my life, I have many decisions to make, and any number of prayers would be greatly appreciated! I look forward to sharing all of the stories from this upcoming year of mission!
Pursuing my calling as a missionary is only possible through the spiritual and financial support of mission partners. Your investment in this mission enables our community to go out and share life with our friends on the street day after day, where we address their biggest source of suffering—isolation—in a way that nobody else can. All the missionaries in our community are nourished and equipped through daily opportunities for spiritual, intellectual, and human formation; moreover, we will spend time in prayer before Christ in the Eucharist, growing closer in intimacy with the Lord and interceding for the needs of this suffering city. Your support makes all the difference, and I want to invite you to invest in both me and my community. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know the best way to reach you and I will happily schedule a time to meet! You can email me at email@example.com.