Debbie Jansen, recipient – Evangel University – 1999 Alumni President’s Award
It was a warm spring day when Dad asked if I would like to go for a drive in his work van. I pulled my hair into a pony tail, grabbed some shoes and rushed to the van. The sun warmed the cab. I was 14 and one of the few teens that admired her parents. I was excited to be alone with Dad.
The van squeaked and rattled. It smelled of paint supplies and turpentine. Dad started a new church and was in the middle of a building program. Rather than take a salary he supplemented our income by painting signs. Dad was not only a great preacher, he was a talented artist.
I didn’t care about my surroundings, I was happy to be with Dad. I rolled down the window, released my pony tail and let the summer air blow through my hair. At one point Dad pulled on hair that flipped and flopped around my face and teased, “Hey, is any body in there?”
We chatted about school, friends and a teens most interesting subject – boys. We talked about the scenery and laughed about the bumpy road to Stone Mountain Park. We waved our summer pass at the guard and found a shady parking spot relatively close to a vendor with ice cream.
Dad stopped a moment before getting out of the van. He smiled and touched the side of my face as if he was sorting through a long list of happy moments. He leaned back and cocked his head. “What do you want to do with your life?”
Dad and I could talk about anything, but his tone let me know this was different. His jaw was clenched as if he was worried. Like any normal teen, I shrugged my shoulders and replied “I don’t know.”
He took my response in stride and continued. “Well, there are all sorts of things you could do. Would you like to fly to London twice a year as a buyer for Macy’s?”
“Huh?” He certainly had my interest. I hadn’t thought much about the future or what I wanted to do with my life. What teen does? For more than an hour Dad opened the door to help me see the wide range of things I could do. We brainstormed about serious life choices and we laughed about silly ones. “Maybe I could find some rich guy to pay me to sit in the park and talk to people.”
“No no….maybe you could earn money making dresses for squirrels.” When all the laughing, teasing and reality based brainstorming was done, Dad reached under his seat and pulled out a packet from Evangel. “I think you should consider going to this college. I think Evangel will help you reach your goals.”
For months I poured over the material, excited about my future. I submitted an application and received a warm letter from Lucille Clark, Dean of women. Since they rarely accepted high school freshmen, she suggested that I wait until the end of my junior year to apply. I folded her letter and put it inside my Bible. It was a daily reminder that I had a goal.
I re-applied my junior year and was accepted. Reading my acceptance letter with my Dad was one of the most exciting days of my life. Evangel became my second home and not only gave me an education but helped me to mature academically, spiritually, emotionally and socially. The days I spent walking the halls of Evangel were the best days of my life. I met my husband Ron at Evangel and I made friendships that are still strong today.
The best thing you can do for your children is to open their world. Show them the many opportunities available for their life. Once they are excited about the possibilities, give them the tools to achieve their goals. Send them to a caring yet academically excellent school like Evangel University. It may take some planning – it may even take some sacrifice, but you will never regret the time spent at a loving Christian college like Evangel University.
I receive a lot of newsletters that keep me informed about our changing society. Public schools and higher education are no longer tolerant of Christian Values. Not only do textbooks promote a godless society and shamelessly re-write history; they also persecute Christians in the classroom. I don’t believe we should enroll our children in stressful situations.
Evangel University will support your child’s faith as well as providing a great education. Evangel’s Alumni are in every segment of society and hold prominent and successful positions. I encourage you to consider Evangel University when it’s time for your child to attend college.
If you need my help to get started, fill out the contact page and I’ll give you all the help I can. To view Evangel’s campus and see all the details, check out their website at www.evangel.edu