Brianne, what is one thing that you should throw away but you could never bring yourself to do it?
There are probably a lot of things like that, because I tend to associate memories with things a lot of the time. I have a lot of childhood things that I just can’t get myself to throw away. One that stands out in particular is a stuffed animal that I had- I got it when I was a baby. Most kids get teddy bears or something, but for whatever reason I got attached to this little lamb. I named him “Baa-Baa” and I’ve had him around ever since.
How did you find Agape/Ecclesia?
So I didn’t actually know about Agape during the first semester of my freshman year. Sam Snyder was my roommate at the time- we kind of did everything together. We tried Gospel Choir, we tried a bunch of different things. I think the first time we came was the Easter service of Ecclesia. We just got really attached to it, and then later learned about Agape just kept going.
What would you say draws you into the community?
I think the people, for sure. I remember the first time Mike talked, even. They were just very true messages and it was a real community- it wasn’t just a Sunday service. People wanted to connect with you, clearly, outside of Sunday nights. Especially with the Facebook group blowing up all the time, people want to connect with each other outside and serve and everything.
Why are you a Christian?
I think the simple answer is that I was born into a Christian family. That’s not why I stayed a Christian, but that is why I became one. The main reason, though, is because it makes sense to me and I’ve experienced God and the miracles he can do. That’s a feeling that you can’t explain any other way.
What draws you to Jesus?
I guess his messages. I mean, everything about him is just so pure. Everything makes sense, even if its difficult. These things are just ingrained in me after hearing them for so long, and they should be- I’m proud that they are ingrained in me. The way that he treats people, the way that wants to carry thigns about, they’re just such timeless messages that make sense to apply even today.
What has God done for you that you couldn’t do for yourself?
I think God gets me through each and every day. I don’t think I could do anything without God. I mean, especially the times that you cry out for help. You realize how much you need him, that you can’t do anything on your own- whether that’s because you’re suffering or you just need encouragement. I think I forget how much he provides for everyone but when it comes back to it, he’s at the center of my life. Everything about it- the people he brings in, everything.
What breaks your heart?
I think suffering. I hate the way that people suffer every day and you can’t understand each other’s pain because its not something you can always explain. It’s not fair- not only if you don’t have access to resources to fix the suffering or if there are no answers to the suffering- it’s just deeper to me than poverty or other issues. It’s awful, but there are cures in a lot of ways; you can wrap your head around it, but with suffering you can’t. You can’t explain it, no matter how much you talk about it.
What gives you hope?
I think people give me hope- specifically Christian people, the way that they live their lives and just care about each other. The way that people go out of their way and love each other, for sure, can only be explained through God. Even when I lose hope, it’s the little things- when people reach out to you and actually want to know what you have to say. That gives me hope.
Do you have a favorite book?
I do. I have a lot of favorite books, but I have to say because I’m obsessed with childhood books that it would have to be a picture book from when I was little. I’ve always really loved pigs, so a lot of the books I read when I was little were either pigs or redheads or a combo of the two. There was one called “Lady Lollipop.” It was about this princess who wanted a pet pig and was adamant about this pig- it was a series about her getting the pig, training the pig, and I was just obsessed.
If you could say one thing to the readers, what would you say?
Embrace the good things that you find and don’t let go of them. Also don’t settle in that or get comfortable. If you find a community that fits you in all ways, don’t give it up because it’s wonderful, but also don’t just get comfortable with that. Reach out to others and invite them in. Share the goodness that you find.