I applied to FOCUS in the spring of my last year in college. After going on an interview weekend and being offered a position to work as a full-time Catholic missionary, there were a number of fears that came up. One of them was fundraising.
When it came down to it, I thought, “If everyone else can fundraise, why shouldn’t I be able to?” I wanted to go to medical school, so naturally, I had a competitive nature. If someone else got a certain grade, I had better get a higher one. I took it as a personal challenge to succeed in fundraising, for the mission—sure, but also because if I was going to do something, I was going to be the best at it. Some people are blessed to come into FOCUS with a network of Catholic friends and family who willingly support them. I wasn’t. Of the money I currently fundraise, I would say 90% of it is from people I didn’t know AT ALL before joining FOCUS. This is a blessing.
Fundraising has allowed me to have another ministry in itself. I get to meet with people from all walks of life and share the gospel with them. My mission partners range from atheist friends to people I used to lift with at the gym. Is it easy? No. Do you want to spend your life doing “easy” things? I don’t. I want to be challenged day in and day out, so I can become the man God created me to be.
In the end, the reason I decided to serve with FOCUS was so that I could do something absolutely crazy for Jesus. I think this is what Pope Francis meant when at World Youth Day he said, “Go make a mess.” Friends, please don’t settle for mediocrity or something lame. I’m tired of it, and the Church needs to step up. Allow yourself to be crazy for Jesus.
Discerning a call to missionary life? Click here for a discernment guide.