Hello. My name is Allan M. Santa Isabel and I first knew I wanted to be a missionary when I did Summer Projects 2021 in Georgia which is an intensive summer faith formation program with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students or FOCUS. When I was there, I was given the privilege to disciple three students, whose names I will change for confidentiality, Mark, Anthony and Bruce. These three men hold a dear space in my heart, because not only did God use me to change their lives, but God used them to change mine.
As background, Mark was someone who was on fire for the faith and had a deep love for God, but he was in need of some guidance. Anthony was a man who knew the Lord intimately, but deeply struggled with same-sex attraction. Finally, Bruce was a solid man who came from a troubled past and struggled deeply in life. When the summer began, I remember looking all three of these men in the eye and telling them, “If you allow it, God can deeply change the hearts of all of you, but I can’t do it for you. My goal is NOT to make you rely more dependently on me, but to make you rely more heavily on the Lord. The Lord is in love with you and wants to make you into a Saint.” Then I begged them the question, “Is Sainthood something you’re striving for?
Because if its not I can’t do anything for you.”
As we walked together in the discipleship, we all struggled, but we grew a bond of brotherhood like I’ve never experienced before. Mark was someone who has a great sense of humor and enjoys spending quality time, so him and I would go out to diners, walks and more. Anthony, was an athlete so for our time together I worked out with him about three times a week and then went on a lot of mini adventures afterwards. Meanwhile, Bruce was someone who was simple just grab coffee or a meal and just talk! I got to know these men and walk with them. At this time, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what the Lord said in Scripture, “Go therefore, making disciples of all nations” and again in Scripture, “Come, and follow Me.”
In the end of the summer, all of these men had a fire lit within them by the Holy Spirit and an apostolic zeal to do the Lord’s work. Mark found a lot of clarity in his life and decided that he wanted to join seminary where he is currently studying in Texas. Anthony came to learn more about Church teaching and same-sex attraction and began to embrace what the Lord want for his life which was chastity. So, to spread the Gospel message he became a missionary and joined a Catholic organization that discusses chastity. Bruce gained a lot of healing through the
Lord’s providence and he decided to study at a prestigious Catholic school to learn more about the faith to be able to go out and spread it.
These men deeply changed my life and after the Lord had used me to walk with them, then it was more than clear that I what I wanted and desired more than anything was to become a FOCUS missionary. If the Lord could use me to make such an impact in the lives of these three men, then what more could He do with me if I decided to walk with men for the next three years? My name is Allan M. Santa Isabel and this is why I chose to become a FOCUS missionary which is to fulfill the words of our Lord, “ Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”