January Spotlight: Stephen Barnhart
Scrolling through Facebook can waste a good deal of time, but it panned out for me on an April day near the end of my Senior year of college.
I’m not one to often find God moments in my life, but I can say, beyond a doubt, that such a moment happened on that April day, when on a late night job search stocked with one too many iced mochas, I stumbled upon the Teach for Christ banner. A couple of clicks took me to an appealing beige page, full of absurdly happy people. Why were they so happy?
I looked further to find that this was a program designed to both introduce young professionals to the world of Catholic education, and a place where I could be in community with likeminded young adults. It had not until that moment dawned on me that I was ever called to be a missionary—it just didn’t seem like a good fit for my career-oriented desires.
But Teach for Christ was…different. If I had to put my finger on it, I would say it had to do with a mix of this joy factor I saw in the mission—to serve, to teach, to love, and to lead in Catholic schools—and an unmistakable Catholic identity. I hadn't seen this perfect combo in any career option up until that point—and to this day, seen matched.
It’s been nine months since that fateful April day. I can honestly say that Teach for Christ is the best decision I have ever made in my adult life. It has challenged me to grow in my faith, to trust in the greater goodness of humanity, and has helped me understand God’s plan for my life...at least for the next nine months. Please pray for me as I continue to serve Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul over the next year.