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Oscar Martinez Vega

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Franciscan Faces

Oscar Martinez Vega

On a Mission From Mexico

Winter 2024 | Maura Roan McKeegan

In This Article

When he entered high school, Oscar Martinez Vega didn’t know where he would eventually go to college, but he knew he wanted to learn English before he got there. His opportunity came in 2017, when his family moved from his childhood home in Jalisco, Mexico, to Ennis, Texas, before his senior year.

Moving to a new country wasn’t easy, but Oscar made friends through the youth group at his new parish. The pastor there, Father John Dick, encouraged him to consider two things: first, becoming a missionary with NET Ministries, and second, going to Franciscan University. Oscar took him up on both.

After graduating from high school, he spent two years doing mission work with NET, and his prayer life grew exponentially.

“Before NET, I didn’t even understand what prayer really was and meant,” he says. “NET gave me the opportunity to develop a relationship with Christ.”

Through NET, Oscar met many people affiliated with Franciscan, both future students and alumni, and his desire to go to Franciscan deepened.

“After having such an amazing community with NET, I wanted to go nowhere else but Franciscan, to have a great community like that,” he remembers.

As a first-generation college student, Oscar is majoring in computer science and minoring in software engineering, cybersecurity, and mathematics. He has always been interested in math—an interest he shares with his two role models: his father, who did not have the opportunity to attend school past second grade; and his older brother, with whom he lives in Texas during breaks, since his parents moved back to Mexico.

During freshman year, Oscar became a student lead for mission trips with the campus organization Missions of Peace. Then he accepted the invitation to become the Mission of Peace student coordinator, a position he held for three years, planning about 16 different mission trips for students each year.

In his senior year, Oscar is focusing on his goal of becoming a software engineer. Last summer, he interned as a software developer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and he is currently interning as a web developer for Smith House Design. Oscar says he has really enjoyed being an intern.

“I’ve been able to use the skills I learned at Franciscan and apply them to real life, not just homework,” he explains. “That’s pretty cool.”

Now that he’s been fluent in English for six years, Oscar appreciates the chance to speak Spanish when he can. Especially meaningful to him was a mission trip he took to Ecuador, because it was the first time he had been able to do ministry in his native language. “I always did ministry here in the United States in English,” he says.

“I just loved speaking Spanish in Ecuador, sharing the Lord in my mother tongue. It was like coming home, but a little better as well, because I was able to share what has been happening in my life.”


Maura Roan McKeegan writes from Wintersville, Ohio.

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