This is Brandyn Millard. My token white friend from college. The words I would use to describe him would be jolly, talkative, caring and protective. Although, he wasn’t always that way..
I met Brandyn during welcome week. After moving in and getting settled, he happen to be roaming the hallways and stumbled upon my room. My roommate, Marion, was playing World of Warcraft, and he couldn’t help but invite himself in and start a conversation. He, my roommates, a couple other girls and I kind of stuck together for the remainder of fall quarter. I was happy to know that I was capable of making friends. Despite living on the floor above us, he was always in our room. He didn’t like his roommates for various reasons, so he always hung out with us. He and Marion would always raid together in WoW. After their raids, we would often have dinner together.
As the year came to a close, Brandyn and I decided to live together the next year. We were supposed to have another friend join us, but he had to drop out of school to pursue other things. So, we just had each other. Now at the time, Brandyn was what I like to call, “barely Christian”. He went to church only because his mom made him, but other than that his faith was stale. He had a foul mouth and to keep it simple, he sought after worldly things. As a believer, I knew I couldn’t just simply live with him, rather, I was called to do more than that. Still shy at the time, I had no intentions of talking about Christianity or the gospel any time soon, so I took subtle approaches. Yes, it was cowardly, but it still worked. With our desks side by side, I would often read the Bible or books by Francis Chan in plain sight. From time to time, it would pique his interest enough to chat about it a bit before he returned to his studies or WoW. We took a couple courses together that year, physics and calculus and we even started going to the gym together, since I inspired him to lose weight as well. Since I was pretty good at math, and he was pretty good at physics, we would always help each other with homework. From there on out, we vowed to take more of these classes and labs together. The year came to an end, but we remained pretty good friends. We even enrolled into the same math and physics classes for Fall of the next year. Though we would not be living together, since he decided to stay in the dorms, and I chose to move to the apartments.
There was one small problem. As a computer science major, less math classes were required of me, whereas he was an aerospace engineer. I had been toying with the idea of minoring in math, since it would just a few classes more to attain it. As Fall quarter came to a close, I decided that I needed more time to work on him. So, I declared a minor in math. And for those of you that don’t know, he’s 90% of the reason why I have a minor. Sure, it looks pretty good on a resume and it also gives me an excuse to why I took an extra year to finish. I just wanted to take 3 more math classes with him. And frankly, he really needed the help getting through those math courses. My friends back home made fun of me for it too. They asked me why I was investing so much into someone who wasn’t a girl or possible love interest. I shrugged those remarks off.
Being a little braver, I did get to ask him a few questions to find out where he stood. During the whole end-of-the-world 2012 scare, I got to ask him “What if.. it really was the end of the world, what would you do? What would you think?” He didn’t really give me an extensive answer, rather he just pointed out his background (divorced parents, mom is a devout Christian) and that he just wasn’t a very active Christian. I took what I could get. For, as far I knew, I was the only Christian he knew in school.
Fast forward one more year. It was our 4th year in school, and Spring quarter had our last class together, MAT318 (math for Aerospace/Mechanical Engineers). Heading into that quarter, I was anxious. This was my last chance to make something happen, although I would have the whole quarter. I prayed for opportunities and boldness. Spring quarter started and like always, I got to class early. When he arrived, we spent a few minutes catching up for we didn’t share any classes during the prior quarter. He then asked me “Hey, are you a part of any clubs here on campus?” I assumed he wanted to know what clubs were out there so that he could get some experience doing something before he started his senior project. I replied with “Well, I’m a part of the UAV club. They meet on some random Thursdays if you want to check it out some time.” He said “Well, that’s cool.. But, I was looking for a Christian club to join.”
My jaw dropped. “What? Really?” I asked, both unsure and joyously at the same time.
He began to tell me the events that occurred during Winter quarter. To keep a long story short, he met a girl. And while he was dating that girl, the random thought of “what if we don’t share the same religious views” popped into his head. And from there, he turned his life around. He told me of how he had some deep talks with his mom. He told me how he dusted off his Bible and could not put it down, for he just wanted to learn so much. And so he was coming to me, the only Christian he knew on campus, to deepen his relationship with God and to get plugged in. So I had the privilege of showing him EPIC and Campus Crusade. I attended both with him for as long as it could fit into his schedule and until I graduated. We had some deep talks in between classes and I’ve never been so amazed with how God works. He was a 5 year investment and even after it came into fruition, it was not of my power, but God’s. Even now, as he finishes up school, we keep in touch. He’ll tell me of the things he’s learning from the sermons at his church and it’s such a joy to hear. He’s a totally different person now.
He plans to join the air force after he graduates. I have this silly idea in my head that someday he’ll save my life, haha
5 year investment in token white friend paid off in the end. He came to truly know the LORD
“22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:22-25