Summer is a time of transition for Saint Paul's Outreach. Not only do we say 'good-bye' to some of our students, but we also say 'good-bye' to some of our faithful and generous Mission Leaders. Jacob Doran is one of those brave souls who has spent the past year serving full-time with SPO at Ohio State University. While we are sad to see him go, we are excited for what the Lord has next for him, and are grateful for the many ways that he poured himself out in service and love this year. We hope that you enjoy reading Jacob's year-end reflection.
A year ago, I was beginning my personal support raising and brainstorming what the next year of Saint Paul’s Outreach will be like. Today, I look back and think of the ways I have seen students impacted and their lives changed.
My year begansitting in the office of the men’s household and listing ideas for this year’s One Gospels. Myself and Alicia Yunker, the women’s mission leader, came up with a list of speakers we would like to see, and topics for the One Gospel nights. One Gospel has been the center of our on-campus outreach efforts: it has been a life-changing event for the students, and God shows up every time. The worship has been powerful, and the messages have been engaging. Initially, our regular meetings were in the basement of Holy Name church, with a group of about fifty students. This year, we have been on campus twice a month, and we’ve had up to one hundred and twenty students attend. Saint Paul’s Outreach is flourishing, and I know that the Lord is working in the lives of many young adults.
A year ago, also, we weren’t entirely sure who would be living in the men’s household. We had six men in for sure, with another to be interviewed over the summer. During the School of the New Evangelization, we added one more to our number, which made a house of eight men. We started out fresh, with only two returning household members. But in October we met another young man from Georgia who was excited about SPO and the household, so he applied, interviewed, and was accepted. Then, in December, Damian Santiago moved to Columbus to work for SPO and begin his training to be a Mission Leader this next year, moving the number to ten. Finally, in February, Catholic Youth Summer Camp brought up a missionary from Georgia, who moved into the house as well to receive formation and be part of an intentional Catholic community. The number of men committed to household has almost doubled over this year. God decided to pour while mixing this past year, and I am happy to say that we already have a full house of men signed up and ready to go for next year.
In these twelve months I have seen the Lord do amazing work - and He doesn’t just act once a year, month, or week, but continually. It has been so encouraging for me to be a part of this year. I may have lead the men’s outreach, but God has been leading me every day. I thank God for the opportunity He has given me to be a part of this outreach and community. God bless you, and thank you for all your support of this ministry and the men and women who are receiving lasting impact through Saint Paul’s Outreach.
-Submitted by Jacob S. Doran, SPO Mission Leader 2010-2011