hen the door opened for me to become a dorm chaplain,
I jumped through it. My dorm at Berea College was somehow skipped when the
chaplain assignments were made. The recruiter said the job would take about
five hours per weeka little Bible study leading, a little talking with other
girlsI could handle that.
It didnt take long to figure out why Id had such a strong desire to study
the Bible on my own before coming to college. From day one people asked me
questions about the Bible.
The girls started calling me "the Chaplain." I had at least two visitors a
daypeople wanting advice, Bible references, but mostly wanting someone to
Ive been able to share my faith; Ive seen other girls become bold in sharing
theirs. Theres nothing greater than seeing someone come to faith in Christ.
After a Bible study one night, a girl followed me into my room. She sat on
my bed and didnt say a word, then began to cry. "Danielle, everybody thinks
that Im something Im not. I go to church and to Bible study every week, but Im
not saved. I know that if I died right now, I would go to hell. I cant feel
Jesus in my heart."
I had assumedjust like everyone else had about methat she was a Christian.
"Do you want to be a Christian?"
"Yes, but I just cant. Ive tried. I pray every night. Nothing works."
I had no idea what to say. I got down on my knees, grabbed her hand and
prayed aloud to God. I asked God to grant her strength to come to Him. She also
prayed for herself. She prayed for almost 15 minutes but never once asked Jesus
to come into her heart. When she said, "Amen," I thought I would die. I felt
like a failure.
She thanked me and left. I cried for a long time. But I realized that
although her faith might not have changed as she left my room, her mind-set
had. A seed had been planted, and I needed to continue to water it. Months
later she did become a Christian.
God used that experience to teach me that I am not in controlHe is. I
realized that I wasnt going to lead everyone I came in contact with to Christ.
But, I also learned that my life should reflect my desire to do so. As a dorm
chaplain, Im often able to share my faith.
So many people I meet are just like I was. I had no real commitment to
Christ, but I was what everyone called a good kid. You see, no one had ever
talked to me about Jesus in my entire life. I was the type of kid everyone just
assumed was a Christian. I didnt do drugs, didnt participate in pre-marital sex
and never cursed. I was a good student and was involved at school. Everyone
assumed I was okay. But just before my senior year in high school I began to
feel like something was missing. I tried to fill that void in my life with
activities and community service, but nothing helped.
That winter I was in a store and saw a big pile of student Bibles. I asked
my mom to get me one. She did with excitement. I read it faithfully for almost
a month, and I prayed for my forgiveness. But it seemed that nothing happened
when I did.
I was helping with Operation Warm-Up in an old gymnasiumgiving out blankets,
clothes and shoes to needy families one day. One of the organizers came by and
spoke with me. "Are you certain of your destination if you died tonight?"
I couldnt answer him. He knew that I knew I was going to hell, and for the
first time, someone told me how that could change through knowing God
That night, I read a few Psalms, and I just couldnt get his question off my
mind. When I started my usual, memorized prayer, I knew that was the problem. I
hadnt been asking with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I never could,
until that very moment when I realized I wanted Jesus Christ in my life more
than anything in the world. And thats exactly what I told Him.
Even now I still have times of doubt.
I was fed up with school one night with exams, counseling and even Bible
study. I prayed, "God, I want to quit school and be a full-time missionary. I
mean, I really want to be in a full-time ministry position."
I felt Him saying, "No."
I pleaded, "But, God, I want to be serving you right now!"
I felt His calm response: "You already are."
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