Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"How FOCUS Saved My Life"

Ambria Martin is a former parishioner of mine at St. Malachy. This year, having just graduated from Ball State, Ambria is becoming a FOCUS Missioner at James Madison U. and she needs your help! FOCUS missioners are the Navy Seals of the Church (but they're normal people too, they are joyful), and they are doing INCREDIBLE work across the country (including Indianapolis). FOCUS is literally exploding across the country, and I can promise you this is a train you want to be on!

 Listen to Ambria's story, and please consider partnering with her. This is the first time in the history of the blog I'm asking for you to consider financially assisting someone, and I hope you partner with her. It isn't just a "check-writing" relationship, FOCUS missioners keep in touch with you and send you regular updates about the progress they're making and you get the chance to really participate and share in their discoveries. I'll let Ambria tell her story now...

This video isn’t about my life, but it could be. FOCUS came to Ball State University in the fall of 2008. At this time I was a sophomore. I was not practicing Catholicism nor did I have a desire to. I was not praying. My sights were instead placed on finding the perfect man. 

After multiple relationships didn’t work out, I found myself exhausted and alone. By the grace of God, I met girls on my floor who were radically living a life for Christ. They invited me to have this relationship as well. After years of searching, I let my walls down and allowed Christ to take over. I felt the pain and stress disappear.

These new friends challenged me to dive deeper with God but they also challenged me in my label as a Catholic. I still identified myself as a Catholic even though I wasn’t doing anything with the church. I had to find out the answers, I had to know what being Catholic meant. Luckily I had a friend who was in a Catholic bible study and invited me to come with her. 

There I met a FOCUS missionary, Elise, who had given up at least two years of her life to serve students. She left behind her home, boyfriend and family in Colorado. She also pledged to fundraise her entire salary. Yes that’s right, her entire salary. 

FOCUS also known as the Fellowship of Catholic University Students is a collegiate outreach program. Missionaries are currently on 74 campuses across the U.S. working with students in small group bible studies, one-on-one mentorship, and large campus outreach events.

Thanks to Elise answering numerous questions I threw at her, I understand, believe and love the Catholic faith. She gave up everything to be available for me and ultimately it saved my life from plummeting further into abusive relationships and depression. 

I’m proud to say that I have been given the opportunity to do the same as Elise. I’ve given up two years of my life to be a Catholic missionary on a college campus. This upcoming year I will be serving at James Madison University in Virginia. I will be working with students from multiple backgrounds, degrees, and families hoping to be the Christ’s instrument, who penetrates their hearts. 

Focus saved my life by introducing me to the person of Jesus Christ and showing me how to live a lifelong Catholic mission with him. Like Elise, I need help to be able to minister to others. If you’re interested in hearing more about FOCUS and my financial goals please contact me at ambria.martin@focus.org

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