Monday, August 19, 2013

Hello! My name is Emily German, a first year campus missionary with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. I am a small town girl with a heart for traveling the world and sharing He who created it. I recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May with a degree in Advertising & Public relations, a minor in Art, and a concentration in History. As a full-time campus missionary I am able to devote my entire life to inviting college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendship in which they lead others to do the same. I am doing this through one-on-one investment, bible studies, and large group outreach (such as conferences).

I recognized my specific call to serve Jesus Christ on a college campus while on a Varsity Catholic FOCUS Missions trip to the Dominican Republic in December of 2011. As I stood on the border of the Dominican Republic, preparing to cross the muddy waters to Haiti, I watched the native people bathe while their children splashed in the awful smelling, cholera-infected water. I crouched in the hollowed-out log as a local pushed us from one side of the river to the other. Careful not to touch the water for fear of sickness, I thought to myself, “These people don’t even realize that they are swimming in infected waters.” I couldn’t help but wonder what my campus would look like if I placed a spiritual lens over my eyes. I suddenly saw my own friends unknowingly swimming in dangerous, infected waters of hopelessness, confusion, and sin. Translating the physical need of purification in the Dominican Republic to the spiritual need on my own college campus placed a sense of urgency and mission on my heart.

College years are some of the most pivotal of a young person's life. Without the support of family and friends, the majority of freshman students fall into the party culture, swallowed by promises of happiness from destructive influences. As a campus missionary, it is my hope to be a light in this darkness. In Luke 12:49 Jesus says, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already ablaze!" Jesus has called me to serve Him at Arizona State University, and to set ASU ablaze with Christ's love.

This blog, titled "Brushstrokes," will mark the journey that the Lord is leading me on as I serve Him through FOCUS. As an artist, the words of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope-Emeritus resound in my heart. He states, "Art is like a door opened to the infinite, opened to a beauty and a truth beyond the every day. And a work of art can open the eyes of the mind and heart, urging us upward."

In the Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists, Blessed John Paul II says, "Human beings, in a certain sense, are unknown to themselves. Jesus Christ not only reveals God, but “fully reveals man to man”. In Christ, God has reconciled the world to himself. All believers are called to bear witness to this; but it is up to you, men and women who have given your lives to art, to declare with all the wealth of your ingenuity that in Christ the world is redeemed: the human person is redeemed, the human body is redeemed, and the whole creation which, according to Saint Paul, “awaits impatiently the revelation of the children of God” (Rom8:19), is redeemed. The creation awaits the revelation of the children of God also through art and in art. This is your task. Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny."

I wish to use my God-given gift so that I may lead others to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks to our Lord, Jesus Christ. I view myself as a paintbrush in the hand of God. Each stroke and blend of colors is guided by the Author of Creation. It is my hope to allow the Lord to use me to inspire the picture painted on the canvases of those I meet. 

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