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Parent testimony: Evangel makes college journey easier for parents

June 11, 2014 | Angela Jefferies

Becca Jefferies graduated in May 2014 with a degree in Biblical Studies. Her mother, Angela, shares her experience as an Evangel parent. The family lives in Illinois.

Evangel has taken care of our daughter, Becca Jefferies, for the past two years. We can’t believe her senior year has come and gone, but it has. She is now a college graduate.

Becca transferred in to Evangel, so her time there was less than many others. However, the changes have been noticed, and we do thank everyone at Evangel for much of that.  It isn’t that she was ever a “bad” child, but she had to grow up like everyone else and make her own choices in regards to her life.

Becca is a P.K. (pastor’s kid) as well as being a fourth generation of the Jefferies’ family in the Assemblies of God. Upon high school graduation, she knew what she wanted to do. She planned to attend a junior college and transfer to a state school her junior year and study speech pathology. Having enough coursework completed from high school and her first year, arrangements were made for the transfer. A visit was planned, classes signed up for, books reserved, and an apartment rented for fall. A couple of months later … “I don’t think I am to go to SIU.  I haven’t been avoiding God, but I haven’t been pursuing him like I should.”

So began the adventure that led us to Evangel.

It was surprising how many people she ran into at Evangel that she had met while attending camps, conventions, and church functions. How quickly and closely she formed friendships and was able to see her professors as “real” people. It helps knowing that the one who is teaching you shares your faith. There is an assurance there that not only do they want you to learn, but they care for you as one who is growing into adulthood.

Our changing relationship hasn’t been easy, but it has been good and necessary. I have gone from being the mom who pretty much knows what all is going on in her daughter’s life, to the mom hundred of miles away. Seeing my daughter grow into a wonderful young woman of God has helped me to let go of her “needing” me and turn into someone whom she can get guidance, insight, encouragement, and an ear to listen. Seeing her become independent, confident, and walking closer to the Lord than she has before makes the journey a joy.

I was worried that she wouldn’t get plugged into a church soon enough. Coming from a small town where she didn’t have a choice and going to Springfield where the choices were seemingly unlimited, was a real concern to me. I knew how overwhelming it could be, and it was totally new to her. With her father a pastor, Becca had never even been through the process of locating a church home with her family. However, she and her friends explored various possibilities. They were encouraged by their professors, Evangel staff, and RA’s to find a good fit. The town is so very large, but the school makes it feel more like a small, close community. We have no doubt the campus activities, events, chapel service, and classes are preparing her for her next step in life.

Knowing that Becca was in an environment that cared for who she was becoming in God gave me the peace I felt each night when I locked the door and she wasn’t tucked in her own bed. Our goal as parents should be to raise our children to become responsible adults on their own, and Evangel has helped make this important passage easier. We have always told her how much she is loved, how wonderful she is, and the plans that God has for her are amazing … we are her parents though. I think hearing it from so many different places at Evangel has made her believe it.

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