During my stay at L’Abri I received a letter from John. He wrote, “Debby, it’s time you found the answer.” I wrote him back, “I found the answer!” So when I returned home to Michigan from Switzerland I was eager to share my new faith with him.
John was going through his own journey of confusion and despair. Prompted by a low draft number for the Vietnam War and combined with not knowing what to do after college, he enrolled in a graduate program at a seminary in Minneapolis. I didn’t know much about my new faith, but I did know there were different sorts of Christians and I told John he needed to find out what kind of seminary the youth minister from his home church had recommended.
On Sunday, August 16th, 1970 we drove to Cedar Campus, an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, not far from my family’s cottage. When we arrived at Cedar Campus all the -college students were out evangelizing, but the staff invited us to have lunch with them. One young man asked John point blank, “Who do you think Jesus is?” John fumbled through a Sunday School answer and it became clear he didn’t know.
After lunch John and I went outdoors and stood in a field of clover while I tried to explain what I learned at L’Abri about how God loves to answer prayer. “I could even ask God to give me a four-leaf clover,” I said boldly. And without looking, I bent over and randomly picked a green sprig. I was as shocked as John to see a four-leaf clover in my hand.
That night, after dropping me off at my family’s cottage, John drove south on I-75 to his mother’s house in Saginaw. Out the window to the east was a display of the northern lights. Out the window to the west he saw a partial eclipse of the moon. And on the radio Billy Graham was answering the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” John surrendered and took his first step of faith.