The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

David Zamora: The Missionary

Mission trip to Papua, New Guinea in college changed his life

Published: July 31, 2020   
Courtesy David Zamora
David Zamora

David Zamora grew up at St. Mary Church in his hometown of Siloam Springs. But it took a trip halfway around the world to show him how to truly live his faith.

“This mission trip came about in college through an organization called Fellowship of Catholic University Students, or FOCUS,” he said. “I wanted to learn more and dive deeper into my faith before going out into the real world.”

Zamora, 25, chose a monthlong men’s mission to Papau, New Guinea.

“At an early age and throughout college, I put my identity on the things that I achieved or the things that I did. Many people do,” he said. “... Papua, New Guinea, is about 15 years of being out of tribal mentality. I was seeing people who receive the sacraments once a month. Seeing the joy and how they receive Jesus and the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament was something so beautiful.”

Zamora declined most of the job offers he received after graduation with his bachelor’s degree from John Brown University and his master’s degree from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and took a job with FOCUS at George Mason University in Virginia. This fall, he will be a team leader at Brown University in Rhode Island. In his work, he evangelizes students and helps them sustain and strengthen their faith lives during college.

“There’s a reason why the Lord let me experience that mission trip,” he said. “I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been pursuing the Lord at 100 miles per hour.”

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