"When I was three or four years old, my mom asked me, do you want to ask God into your heart? I said, yes, so she said let's pray (I didn't really know how to pray), she said reapeat after me, so I did, I thought it was neat that I knew a prayer, so all that week I said the prayer, every day. From then on I had Jesus in my heart."
About the Christian college she chose, MVNC
From her application, November 1997
"My decision in choosing MVNC was a decision sought through many hours of prayer. From the time I arrived in Mount Vernon, Ohio to the time I left two days later, I felt at peace and at home. The atmosphere of the campus and the warmth of the MVNC staff truly impressed me. I didn't feel as though I was just another applicant, but I felt as though I was someone they cared about..My future goals include being an elementary education teacher and going into some area of music ministry. I feel MVNC will help shape my future as I prepare to accomplish God's will for my life. I feel getting a Christian education is crucial in keeping yourself grounded in the Word, which is why I chose MVNC."
On becoming a teacher
From a scholarship application, January 1998
The 3 & 6 yr olds she speaks of are the Wood children. She was a teacher's aide at Cornerstone Academy for her teacher, Mrs. Olson, member of Neighborhood A/G. She substituted for Mrs. Fenlason, member of Hannaford St. Bible Church.
"From early childhood I have dreamt of teaching young children the basics of education. At the age of 12 I began teaching a 3-year old how to say her alphabet and a 6-year old the fundamentals of reading and writing. This proved to be very helpful, especially for the 3-year old when she was interviewed for Head Start. I found great joy in seeing how helpful I was to young children. I think the feeling of success from this experience set my determination to become an elementary school teacher. In grades 6 through 8, while I was attending a Christian middle school, I was a teacher's aide in my spare time. I did various things, such as laminating, setting up bulletin board displays, correcting papers, helping other children with reading setbacks, and many other activities that allowed me to see what it was like to be a teacher. I was very honored when, in 8th grade, I was asked to be the substitute teacher for the kindergarten class. This experience increased my desire to become an elementary school teacher. The college I have chosen to help me reach my goal is Mount Vernon Nazarene College in Mount Vernon, Ohio..."
From her e-mail
February 14, 1999
"..I had an awesome night last night..I went to a Bible study at 11pm and it was neat. I'm doing pretty good, it varies on a day-to-day basis and all. But I'm good today..." February 25, 1999: "I'm doing good this week...Kelly [Walter] is really keeping me accountable and I've been hanging out w/Jenny Walsh (NJ girl) a lot more and just doing what I need to do whether I want to or not."
February 25, 1999
"Tonight I have Bible study, Kelly will be there. I'll make sure to give her a big hug for you! ... Amber Rice, another girl in the Bible study that I'm going to tonight .. sent me a little card in the mail w/an encouraging note on it. It was something to the effect of "...just wanted to let you know I'm praying for you and I'm proud of the improvement you've made. I just thought it might help you to know someone is praying for you...I'm glad we've become friends, I hope we can become better friends..." It was so sweet. Right after I read it, in the cafeteria, I saw her standing in line to eat and I went up and plowed her over w/a hug! I was like, THANKS SO MUCH! She was like, oh no problem. She's a sweet heart too."
February 27, 1999
"..i love you and i'm doing awesome. i've gotten discouraged but every time that happens someone always walks by or stops me and they're like, "lora, your attitude has totally changed, i'm so happy for you. i'm praying for you" so many ppl have told me my attitude's changed so much. i can totally feel it too, i love it!"
About God's workings in her life
March 9, 1999
"Hey you, I just got back from a revival service. It was so awesome. It was nothing "SUPERNATURAL" that happened...just God opened my eyes and I'm so thankful. There's this Bible study [in the dorm] that was going on tonight and I guess God just totally moved, and they normally get done at curfew (midnight) but they were still going at 1:30 when I got there and I just got back two minutes ago...some people are still there...it's almost 3:30...well, I'm just so happy. I realize how much God has provided for me...On weekends sometimes I'm so miserable because I'm not hanging out w/anyone and I'm just alone, but I LOVE IT. I love to be by myself because I never feel alone. I always feel like God's w/me constantly. I've gotten really discouraged and every time before the day is over God either brings a friend to cross my path and encourage me or else He shows me something that I can't help but want to cry tears of joy out of thankfulness and then my discouragement seems so small that it's nothing...All through highschool I've had pastors [referring to Pastor Doug and Pastor Bruce] tell me how 'God is w/me always, I feel Him w/me when I'm shopping or driving down the road' I was like, that's great and all but SERIOUSLY is he REALLY w/you ALL the time. I just thought they were just telling one of those "pastor stories" that everyone says to encourage us as Christians to strive for that. But the other day I was driving in my car and I felt completely as if God was w/me. My car just felt full of his presence and my heart was overjoyed, I thought I was going to burst. I started laughing cause I realized that what I had mocked for so long was happening to me... I had an awesome time tonight. Just being w/other Christians on this campus, I loved it. I can't wait for this weekend to come when I can just sing my heart out. 2 of the 4 concerts I'll have my solo in...Don't worry about next year too much mom, God's already taken care of it. Whether it's what we want or what He wants. :o)