Sometimes, It Takes a Long Time

Posted on by Bonnie Rodriguez

Daniel has been on staff with Miami YFC for nearly 14 years!  Because of this, he can often give us perspective when we get discouraged – over the years, he has seen God show up in kids’ lives, even after it seemed like our time with them was up.


“I need to connect with God,” was the text I received from an unknown number on Saturday morning.  After some conversation I found out the number belonged to Dereck (name changed), a student who was part of Campus Life in high school several years ago and was just about to graduate from college.  As we continued talking, it became clear that this conversation required more than text messages, so we setup an appointment to talk over Zoom the following week.

On the Zoom call, we spent over 3 hours catching up, and Dereck shared what God had been doing in his life.  As part of his studies in sign language interpretation, his professor had required him to attend a church service to watch how their interpreters worked.  It was a very different experience than what he remembered as church when he was young.  He actually enjoyed the sermon and left wanting to know more.

After reaching out to a couple of friends who were religious, Dereck was left with more questions than answers.  Then he remembered the many conversations we had about Christianity sitting in McDonalds when he was in high school. He also still had my cell phone number after all these years.

Throughout our Zoom call, we talked about some of his misconceptions about Christianity, about who Jesus truly is, and about the importance of the Bible.  We ended with a challenge for Dereck to read through the gospels and then we would get back together to discuss.

A couple of weeks later Dereck texted me again and said, “I am reading John now and wow it’s a lot to take in, I love it!  Jesus just loved us so much it makes you really think why wouldn’t you honor him?”

Because of your support of Youth for Christ in Miami there are students like Dereck who, even years after graduation, remember the lessons they learned at Campus Life when they were in high school.  Jesus is changing the trajectory of his life, the life of his family, and everyone else he meets and even though you have never met, you are part of Dereck’s story.

Daniel Vanderwoude
Campus Life Staff

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