|New and Veteran FOCUS Staff for 2012-2013|
Since May 21st I have been in Champaign, IL at FOCUS New Staff Training. I have been amazed and encouraged at the growth of FOCUS and the energy from all of the new and veteran staff in the past three weeks. It has been so interesting to learn about new missionaries and to hear about the path they have taken to becoming a missionary.
I am very excited to be returning for my 3rd as a FOCUS missionary and excited for the opportunity to serve Seton Hall University as the Team Director. During my first two New Staff Trainings the new staff here was, I guess you could say, “traditional”. Meaning that most of the new staff being hired were less than a month removed from their college graduation and were single at the time they joined staff. But this year there are more new missionaries than just the “traditional” missionaries, although there are plenty of those as well.
|Seton Hall FOCUS team for 2012-2013, new team members are in their brand new SHU shirts! Welcome Caitlyn, Tim, Megan, and Terry!!|
I’m sure there are more stories than 3 I will mention but these are 3 that I think are pretty interesting. 1 man has decided to become a FOCUS missionary along with his wife and 2 children after spending a few years working in Colorado. He and his wife were involved with FOCUS as students at Colorado State. I asked him why he didn’t join staff out of college and he just said “we were scared” to fundraise their salary. Obviously that fear has faded as he will now be serving as a missionary this fall.
The 2nd story I want to share is another married man who has 2 children and 1 on the way. This guy previously served on FOCUS staff 4 years ago. After spending a few years at “real” job, he decided that he wanted to return to ministry and that he wanted to return to FOCUS. He, his wife, and children will be on a college campus this fall where he will be a missionary.
Finally, a neat story about a man who went to college with someone who has served as a missionary for the past several years and has financially supported his friend’s missionary work. I asked him about why he joined FOCUS staff and he said “the newsletters got me”. At least 4 times a year FOCUS missionaries send out a newsletter highlighting some stories with pictures from their work on campus to share with our mission partners (those financially or prayerfully supporting us). This guy went on to say that he went to a FOCUS Conference as a donor and the Lord was continually asking him to give more, so he did. He said finally that the Lord made it clear to him that He was asking for even more. This man too, who is leaving a teaching job, will be serving next fall on campus as a FOCUS missionary.
A powerful and neat moment I experienced this last Thursday night, it was just such an odd scene as far as the secular world is concerned. The St. John’s Newman Center at the University of Illinois hosts all summer. We live in a dorm and use different rooms and spaces around campus for our training. Last Thursday was the first day that the new missionaries made phone calls asking to meet with people in a few weeks. They’re calling to ask to meet with them to share the mission and vision of FOCUS and to invite them to become a mission partner, a financial supporter of our work on campus. Last Thursday everywhere I went I saw several missionaries all making phone calls, some sitting, some pacing, some praying, some laughing, but it was beautiful to see. I thought, how bad do these people want to serve our Lord and be missionaries! Again and again I have been encouraged in the work FOCUS is doing for the Church in the name of our Lord and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way. God bless you.
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