The mission of Lifeteen is to bring people closer to Christ, and alumna Emily Davenport has dedicated her young adulthood to doing just that. She lives in community with other young adults who spend their time doing formation and retreat prep during the week and present relational ministry and retreats on weekends.

The summer after Emily’s sophomore year at Truman, she started working with Lifeteen as a summer missionary, and her life completely changed. Emily fell in love with the mission lifestyle, feeling fully alive and helping people encounter Jesus in radical ways.

Emily credits the Newman Center as playing an important role in her journey toward Lifeteen. “Newman provided an environment to create a relationship with Christ in college,” she says. “The space is there to literally and metaphorically be with Christ.”

While her foundation of faith began in youth ministry in St. Louis, as well as involvement with the REAP Team, her Catholicism was able to root into something real and tangible in college through the Newman Center.

As a freshman at Truman, Emily was a Political Science and Communications double major, but after her experience as a summer missionary, she decided to dropped the Communications major in the hopes of graduating a year early to do full ministry–which she did.The people were most influential in her pursuit of mission life.

“Fr. Franklin is a gift,” she said. “He is around and available. He loves Nerf darts but he’s also so reverent. He’s the best.”

She had the full support of her Newman family to become a full time missionary. “The people there challenged me to say yes to God and what God wants us to do. Ultimately my friends want me to do what God wants me to do.”

Now, she’s passionate about her life helping kids meeting Jesus. “I explained Adoration to a young girl as, ‘Jesus will walk in the room,'” she said. “And at the end of the night, that girl came up to me and said, ‘You were right, Emily, Jesus did walk in the room.'”

As they near their busiest time of year, she asks for prayers for their Lifeteen missions. Emily has not looked back–she is confident that she made the decision God was calling her to by leaving Truman early, something that Newman gave her the encouragement to pursue.

“People want to pray together,” Emily says. The root of Lifeteen can be applied to the whole of the Church as well as the Newman Center: “Disciples make disciples.”

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Emily is able to live a full mission life by fundraising her own salary. If you’d like to financially support Emily, you can do so here.

Emily was also able to choose a life of full mission work because of the support and encouragement she found at the Newman Center. If you’d like to financially support the Newman mission, you can do so here.

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Erin Miller

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