February 22, 2017
Kyle Hanson, a 2012 graduate from Michigan Tech in geological engineering, never intended to join FOCUS. After graduation he worked as a sales engineer in Appleton, WI for a couple of years. When he met his now-wife, Lisa, she encouraged him to consider exploring the possibility of becoming a missionary. The more he looked into FOCUS, the more he realized a calling to it.
Thinking back on his years as a student at Michigan Tech Kyle recalled how many of his Catholic friends didn’t even go to Mass. He has always desired to reach out to them, but was not sure how to. As a FOCUS missionary he would be able to teach and empower students to do just that, in addition to extending the invitation to students himself.
Kyle was nervous to tell his boss, an agnostic, that he was considering leaving the company to pursue the vocation of a missionary, but he was surprised when his boss was actually encouraging about following that calling and giving it a try.
In 2014 Kyle joined FOCUS and was assigned to the campus ministry at the University of Northern Texas. The following year he served as a missionary at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
This year Kyle and Lisa returned to Wisconsin with their one year old son, Kolbe, to lead the first-ever FOCUS team at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. They welcomed their first daughter, Isabella, in January.
One of the things that Kyle found most surprising about his experience as a FOCUS missionary is just how open people are to the Gospel. Many of today’s students have little or no experience with church or theology, and they are curious to learn more if only the invitation is extended to them.
Another thing that surprised him was the willingness of others to support the cause of reaching out to college students. FOCUS missionaries are responsible for fundraising their own salary each year. Kyle went from fearing raising his own salary to appreciating it as a way to grow in friendship with others as well as a way to bring the gospel of hope to those whose family members no longer consider themselves Christian.