Summer Training: Week 2

Another week of FOCUS New Staff Training has come to an end. With how busy we’ve all been it feels like we’ve already been here for a month! This definitely has been really great week. Every day I meet amazing new people and learn more about how to bring the gospel to campus. It’s exhausting and it’s awesome.

We started of the week by learning a little more about FOCUS’ vision and our mission as an organization from John Zimmer and the one and only Curtis Martin. For those of you who don’t know, FOCUS’ mission statement is as follows:

“To know Christ Jesus, and to fulfill His great commission by first living and then communicating the fullness of life within the family of God, the Church.”

Learning More About FOCUS' Vision With Founder Curtis Martin
Learning More About FOCUS’ Vision With Founder Curtis Martin

The great commission refers to Matthew 28: 16-20 : “Then  Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”

Pretty cool huh? Christ commissioned the disciples to go out across the world and teach the people what Jesus taught them. Here at summer training we’re preparing to do the same by “teaching teachers how to teach,” as they say. All of us future missionaries are being equipped with the skills and knowledge to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

Salvation History With Jeff Cavins
Salvation History With Jeff Cavins

As great as it was learning more about what drives FOCUS, the best part of this week was definitely  learning Salvation History with Jeff Cavins. Jeff is a great guy and I learned a ton from him. Reading the bible has always been a little intimidating to me because I never really knew how to approach it and to anyone just trying to dive right in, it eventually gets really confusing. Jeff taught us about how only 14 books of the bible actually tell the narrative story of salvation across 12 time periods. The other 59 books are “supplemental” that make sense when placed into their historical context. Basically without knowing the context for each book, it’s really easy to get lost.

In addition to classes, we are starting to get into fundraising full swing. We started to make phone calls on Thursday and this next week is definitely going to be full of mission partner development time. Though it is stressful, it’s comforting to know that there are about 200 other people here doing the same thing that have to raise the same amount of money that I am. For me, so far so good but still lots to do! Just have to remember that God owns all the money in the world and if he really wants me to be a missionary he’ll help me out.

Vanderbilt Beach In Naples
Vanderbilt Beach In Naples

I also got to hang out a bit with my new team.  We went to the beach (which is absolutely beautiful) and spent some time getting to know each other.They’re all really amazing people and I’m happy to be working with them. I really am starting to get excited about being here at Ave Maria. It’s definitely going to be a big change but I know that it’s going to be good and I fell like I can really do some good work here. What I’m really looking forward to is meeting the students and getting to know them. Plus, I got up close and personal with an alligator AND saw my first armadillo so looking forward to seeing some more of them.

Tootsie Roll Eating Competition At The Talent Show
Tootsie Roll Eating Competition At The Talent Show

To finish off the week there was a talent show Friday night. I was a fantastic show filled with dancing, singing, skits, and rap. Lots of talented missionaries here in sunny Florida for training. After training some of us Colorado State Rams were starving so we made  midnight run to the closest McDonald’s… which is 18 minutes away. Absolutely worth it. Speaking of the CSU Rams, we all got together for a little dinner date Saturday night.  Man I love those guys and it’s definitely awesome having such good friends like them here for support and as a little slice of home.

After dinner we got a group together to go to Naples to see How To Train Your Dragon 2. Now I only saw the first one like a month ago and absolutely loved it. As for the second one…I was a little disappointed. I mean of course the action and animation was spectacular but I felt the plot was lacking in the believability department and overall delivery. So basically good but not great. Would’t go see it again.

Brian, Sean And Jake Enjoying Our Pizza Dinner
Brian, Sean And Jake Enjoying Our Pizza Dinner

And that pretty much sums up week two here at New Staff Training. Just got back from doing some grocery shopping and gonna try and spend the rest of the day at the pool. With all the work and class we have during the week, we definitely try to get the most out of the weekend. Just to reiterate, I’m having an amazing time down here and with every week I’m learning more about FOCUS, more about my faith, and growing stronger in my relationship with Jesus. Keeps us all in your thoughts and prayers and maybe expect a phone call from me soon  🙂



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