Finding Answers to a Decade-Old Question

Older student helps freshman learn how to walk with God.

Photo Courtesy of Jamil Wansley

"Now what?" Jamil Wansley had asked that question many times, but hadn't received an answer.

At age 8, he chose to receive Christ while sitting in a church pew as his mother rehearsed with the choir. Shortly after his family moved, church became an infrequent part of his life.

"I had accepted Jesus, but no one was there for the 'now what?'" said Jamil. "I was a Christian, but didn't know what that meant."

He thought maybe it meant living a moral life. But after succumbing to the pressure to have sex, he became more confused. Jamil hoped enrolling in prestigious Howard University would provide a fresh start.

Kits, Surveys Lead to Revealing Conversation

Orientation week underway, Jamil ventured to the cafeteria. Steven Mason, a student leader with The Impact Movement, caught his attention and asked the architecture major to take a short spiritual survey as part of a campus Freshman Survival Kits outreach.

"The goal was to grab the freshmen's attention before other things did," said Steven. "There are a lot of parties and organizations telling them, 'This is what you need to be focused on.'"

Encouraging students to focus instead on God, the surveys and kits, including evangelistic materials and fun back-to-school items, naturally led to conversations about Christianity and the gospel message

Jamil's responses revealed a disconnect between his knowledge about God and his personal relationship with Him. The discussion made him reconsider his perspective. "I was really at a crossroads of thinking," said Jamil.

Personal Example, Commitment Answers Question

Steven invited Jamil to Bible study and eventually became a spiritual mentor to the younger student. The senior's consistency and commitment helped fill in the gaps long left open.

"I definitely didn't see any of this back in high school," Jamil says. "It's amazing to know God in a personal and intimate way." Bible study led to other activities, each solidifying Jamil's life lessons.

Steven, now graduated, continues to encourage Jamil. "Steven still calls and talks to me," he says. "He motivates me to continue in this walk with God."

Now 3 years after arriving at Howard, Jamil returns to his Washington D.C. campus grateful for how God responded to his "now what?" question.