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Meet the Department: Adam Focht

Posted by fochta at Apr 19, 2010 11:00 AM |

Hi, I'm Adam!  Welcome to the fourth installment in our "Meet the Department" series!  I'll also share a bit about how I became interested in computers, how I came to know Christ, and how I came to be a part of DiscipleMakers.

My father was the one who originally got me into computers.  He had a passion for technology and cool toys.  He had worked for the Air Force, CP&L, and numerous cell phone carriers (back when you had to lift weights to carry around a "portable phone").  I was introduced to BASIC in 7th grade, and soon after wrote my own war simulator.  We got our first home computer when I was in 10th grade - it had a blazing 33MHz 486 with an on board math co-processor, an unfathomable 8MB RAM, a massive 30MB hard drive, Windows 3.0, and DOS 6.1 (even the first iPhone was more powerful).  I played MS Flight Simulator, Minesweeper, and Links (golf) for hours on end (instead of doing my homework).

Stepping back further in my childhood, my family moved around a lot growing up.  I never developed lasting, deep relationships as a result, and eventually became very angry with the Lord.  I saw Him as distant, detached, and uncaring.  I thought He had set the world in motion with the laws of physics so that He could start it all up and walk away.  When things I didn't like happened, I could easily say God was bad and was just messing with me or those around me.  This peaked as my father died days before my 18th birthday.

I went through one semester of college at IUP (to become a music teacher), dropped out for personal and financial reasons, and held down several menial jobs.  After five years, I was motivated to get an education and get a better job.  Looking to explore my love for computers and technology, I started at Penn State as a computer engineering major with a physics minor.  My second semester living on campus, I got a roommate (Tim) who was a Christian and eager to share his faith.  I was still very angry with the Lord and as he shared about God and Christ, I was eager to disprove everything he said.  This made for quite a bit of fireworks!

I took all of his claims back to a friend from home who was Christian (Tom C.) hoping he would help me disprove my roommate.  He took me to Scripture, and I then encountered a God who was near, involved, and cared deeply for me.  Everything I had thought about God was wrong!  I accepted Christ the summer after I lived with Tim!  The next fall semester, I met Rhys, got involved in a Bible study on campus, and grew in my relationship with the Lord.  The Lord used Rhys and the DiscipleMakers Christian Fellowship (DCF) tremendously!

Back to my interest in computers ... As I got more and more interested in my physics classes, I changed my major to physics with a mathematics minor.  I started doing research in condensed matter theory, a branch of physics focusing on material properties.  Because my research was theoretical, I was able to apply what I had learned in my computer engineering classes.  Through contacts I met doing this research, I got a job in the RCC (research computing) group at Penn State.  I volunteered with DCF during my five years there, then realized God was calling me into full-time ministry.  The more I had opportunity to meet with students and get into the Word with them (both in group Bible studies and one-on-one), the more I wanted all of what I did to further His Kingdom.  While I was initially fearing raising support, the Lord was faithful to grow me in trusting that He would provide.  In 2009, I joined DiscipleMakers.

At Penn State, I was able to help researchers use computers to impact the world with science.  With DiscipleMakers, I'm so excited to be able to use computers to impact the world for Christ!  Praise God that He has seen fit not only to save me while I was His enemy, but He also uses me, the broken vessel I am!

P.S. In the midst of all this, the Lord showed even more of His grace and faithfulness: I married the woman of my dreams on September 19th (2009)!!  Praise God, I certainly don't deserve such an amazing blessing!  "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord!" (Pr 18:22 - ESV).


Feel free to contact me:

Phone: (814) 441-3579
Also find me on Facebook!

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