Angel Rodriguez discovers connection and purpose as a FOCUS missionary.
Entering his senior year at Texas A&M University, Angel Rodriguez discovered firsthand the beauty of authentic friendship. He had been living the typical college lifestyle: joining a fraternity, pursuing a career and occasionally attending Mass. Underneath, however, Angel recalls a desire for truth. "When I got to college, I noticed in myself that I was searching for something more, searching to be known."
He first found that "something more" through a friend at St. Mary's Church, who invested in him in a way he had never experienced. Through the process of leading a retreat, Angel met Evan and began to share life in a deeper way. "I knew Evan for three weeks, and I felt like he knew me better than these friends that I had had for three years."
That was a turning point for Angel, who began to participate more at the Catholic center on campus. Providentially, that was the year FOCUS missionaries first came to Texas A&M. Angel was immediately inspired by the missionaries. "They were living out a lifestyle I had never seen before." He adds, "They were great men who lived out virtue while also keeping a toughness about them. It struck me that this is what it means to be a man. I wanted to pursue that."
Following the Call
Upon graduation, Angel decided to become a FOCUS missionary despite the obstacles of obtaining his family's approval and overcoming the fears he faced.
Through prayer, Angel was convicted to serve college students with FOCUS. That is, until he was placed at A&M's rival, the University of Texas. "At first, I thought it was a joke. But I was also very excited. I wanted to go somewhere that was uncomfortable, and UT faced different challenges than those I had faced at A&M."
Through conferences, mission trips and daily life, Angel is learning more and more about the unity we have as the body of Christ. "I am realizing as missionaries and Christian disciples, we are created for love. In heaven, we will become love. And love comes with sacrifice but also with joy."
He adds: "As we missionaries enter into this call with FOCUS, it is beautiful that we are able to invite mission partners and benefactors to sacrifice with us. Just as Jesus shares His mission of salvation with us, we are united—deeply united—in this mission."