Reaching Beyond the Walls of the School

  • by Deanna Joy Kustas

Daniel’s life was sent in a tailspin.

After his parent’s divorce, the then 16-year-old had just moved to Atlanta with his mom while processing his father’s leaving and his recent conversion to Islam.

Through it all, the Lord was pursuing not only Daniel’s heart but the hearts of his mother, sister and other students at his high school.

It all started when Daniel met Jared Dawson, the Cru staff member at his school. Their conversation about Jesus sparked something in Daniel led to Jared mentoring Daniel his senior.

Jared met regularly with Daniel and some of his friends at a nearby Wendy’s where the students asked questions, read the Bible and prayed together. Even so, Daniel was still unsure about God.

Until spring vacation.

After break, Jared got a call from Daniel. God did what only He can do, he showed up for Daniel while he was watching videos online. Daniel knew God was real and told Jared he wanted to get baptized. 

“As soon as I received Christ, God gave me a burden for the lost … I prayed that my mom and my sister may receive Christ and that we all might go to church together,” Daniel said.

The Lord responded to Daniel’s prayer. Jared and his family began bringing Daniel, his mom and sister to church.

“Because of their [Jared and Dominique’s] presence I found faith again,” said Sarah, Daniel’s mom. “I have more faith in God because of them.”

However, for his sister it was another story. Janessa was very resistant to Christ when Daniel first started sharing about him. She wasn’t really interested in Jesus because her identity was in her performance at school. 

Then Janessa attended FastBreak, Cru’s high school ministry conference. It was there that Janessa gave her life to the Lord. LINK 

“I’m learning how to live the way God intended me to live… [and] that God loves me,” Janessa said.

Through one relationship, an entire family is now dedicating their lives for the Lord.

If you want to join the Dawson’s in impacting the lives of teens and their families considering joining them on our Urban Immersion internship in Atlanta.