By Jane Dausner Flowers, Former Student
I grew up knowing that there was a God, but I knew almost nothing about Him. While I understood the most basic truth—that God loves me—“Jesus,” “sin,” and “the cross” meant nothing to me at all. In this way, I was the all-too-common product of a divided home. My mother was a devoted Christian, but my father was skeptical at best. To make matters worse, the church my mother took me and my sisters to did not help very much. I could never understand what anyone there was talking about, and there was no one I could share my questions with—no one with the time to answer. This is not to say, however, that my mother did not try to help me along a path toward God, but between her full-time job and taking care of three girls, there was simply no time for her to talk with me the way I wanted and needed her to. Like most teenagers then, I struggled to find myself, but the harder I searched for acceptance, identity, and purpose, the more lost I became. Throughout all of my searching, I never forgot that God loved me, but I felt separated from Him, wandering through my childhood and early teenage years until my sophomore year, when God bridged the gap between my heart and His through the Norcross Christian Learning Center (NCLC). I would never be the same.
It was registration day at school when I first saw the NCLC sign. Questions like “Do you want to know more about God?” and “Do you want to learn more about the Bible?” instantly drew my attention. Those were my questions. They resonated with a longing in me for God that I could not explain at the time. After a few minutes of talking with the representative at the table, I made up my mind, and I signed up for the class on the spot. I will never forget how we started the first day of class with prayer—a routine I would come to cherish. For the two years I took the class, I always felt comforted by the morning prayers—like my days could not go wrong whenever we prayed. Beyond that, I always looked forward to being around the CLC teachers and students. They all brought a peace with them that I wanted, and, perhaps most importantly, they were always kind to me. Everyday someone would ask how I was doing. One student even invited me to dinner and a Bible study hosted by her family, and another student (now my fiancé) invited me to hang out with his friends and come to his church. It was through this CLC connection that I came to the Lord at the age of fifteen. After that, I redoubled my efforts in the class, trying to soak up everything there was to learn about both the Old and New Testament. Everything was broken down so well, I honestly do not know how I could have learned the material anywhere else. To this day, I am still able to call the staff that was once a part of NCLC my mentors. They were always available. They were willing to meet out-of-class to answer my questions (a small group of us met at a coffee shop once a week), and they even stuck with me after the class was over. Today, I know I can still call them for help and advice.
This all brings me to why I chose to intern with CLC. I want to help spread the ministry that God used to change my life. To that end, I believe that this class could and should reach more students while continuing to impact each student on a deeply personal level. For some, like me, it might be life changing. For others, it might fortify an already existent faith, but in both cases, what this organization does is about more than just teaching students, it’s a calling to change lives forever. I want to be a part of that, giving to others what I have freely received through this ministry. It has my heart.