Dani shares how God has impacted her life at college.

College is the first time that I experienced God in a way that was personal and amazing. Actually, it was the first Thursday night Cru of my Freshman year.

Growing up we never went to church – just on holidays or when visiting my Grandma. I knew that God was there and real, but had little other knowledge about Him.  Freshman year of high school was probably the hardest of my life. In the fall my Grandma passed away and my family all took it really hard. Not even a month later my parents told us they would be getting a divorce. I was easily uprooted and ignored God in all parts of my life.

A huge theme in my life is acceptance, both in my family and outside of it. A lot of time I felt like no one understood me and liked me for me. Since I felt like my family didn’t accept me, I tried to find acceptance elsewhere. I gave everything I had to my friendships and pursued popularity and status. I had gotten into the party scene because that’s what everyone else was doing, and I thought that I would be accepted if I did it too. This only brought me momentary satisfaction.  But now I was in too deep and I had to keep up my reputation. So for the rest of high school I continued to live my life distant from God.   As senior year ended I knew I needed to get out.  I needed a place to go where I could start over again. I was looking forward to coming to college because I knew it would be a place I could be who I wanted to be.

First week of college came and I found myself doing the same things I’d been doing. I was upset with myself but God was closer then I knew. I met the boys who lived across the hall and they were nicer to me than anyone had ever been, they didn’t care who I was or what I’d done, they accepted me anyways. I learned that these two guys were Christians and that was why they acted the way they did. They invited me to the Cru picnic that Saturday and I went along with them. I got to meet a bunch of awesome people and was invited to attend the first Cru meeting. I decided ‘why not?’, so I went. I have never felt so uncomfortable and awkward as I did that first night. It was an atmosphere I had never experienced before, people living their lives sold out for Jesus without a care in the world. I knew I was feeling uncomfortable because God had something to say to me. He was telling me that all the vices I had and all the worldly things I clung to meant nothing and that He wanted to be my everything. That He loved me and accepted me – no matter what I had done in the past. That I wasn’t too broken for Him to fix.

Well, that Thursday night meeting was enough for me to go to a Community Group and find out more. I showed up never having owned a bible before. I had no idea what I was doing there or what I was even hoping to get out of it. Each week I kept going back, and I found myself learning so much about God—His character—His forgiveness—who Jesus was—how Jesus had died to forgive me—and I hadn’t even let him do that. So after Thursday’s Cru one week in October I went back to my room and told God how much I’d messed up and how I needed His forgiveness and how I wanted to live my life for Him and not for myself.

Since then God has been working in my life in the most amazing ways and I have an inexpressible joy that I know comes from Him alone. The friends I’ve made through Cru and the community God has given me here has changed me forever.


Through our partnership, God is introducing college students like Dani to Christ and transforming them into Christ-centered leaders!

PERSONAL UPDATE (Please pray!): Over Spring Break, we will be taking a team of college students to Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands to introduce university students to Jesus Christ… yes, all of us are going (Dennis, Amy, 3-year old Jack and 10-month old Trevor)!!!