I first met Danielle on her doorstep, an enthusiastic new high school graduate and college student. Our local church fellowship was reaching every home in our community, and her family’s home was just a few streets away from where we lived. We got to know Daniellle, and as the friendship with our family grew, we followed her progress in college. Then, heartbroken, she told us of a breakup with her boyfriend. Then we learned she was deeply troubled due to verbal and physical abuse suffered in her home. Increasingly, her burdens were ones the joys of youth could not overcome.
Though Danielle tried to go on with life, the sorrows of her past overwhelmed her, and she was repeatedly admitted to a locked mental health hospital, because of attempts on her own life. She called for my wife and me to visit her, which was our joy. But though we counseled her, read Scripture, and prayed with her, her struggle was deep.
When released, she would on occasion visit our church fellowship, and read her Bible. Though invited, she never had the confidence to join a class, because of her own insecurities.
A third phase of our contact with Danielle came when she lived in a small mobile home, and grew in stability. She called us when she ran out of grocery money, and we were able to deliver groceries from our church food closet. We always asked what groceries she needed and matched what we brought with her needs. She was always deeply grateful.
But though still healing from scars, Danielle came to a firm personal faith in God. Her Bible was her repeated comfort. In many ways, because of her deep burdens, Danielle did not fill the stereotype of believers we normally encountered. But her deep personal faith in God, and consistent character showed to others that God was the center of her life.
Though ministry to Danielle proved a long journey, God reached one as we travelled with her.
Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart
When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world