Danielle grew up an athlete and has been passionate about sports since she learned how to play soccer during recess in the first grade. Her playing career ended in 2006 after an injury, but since then, the Lord has led Danielle on a surprising journey and given her a heart for gospel-centered social justice and service in urban communities.
After travelling in 2006 on her first SportQuest PWP Project, Danielle began attending Milligan College. Knowing the Lord was leading her into missions work, she studied abroad in France and Uganda and served with SportQuest to gain as much traveling and ministry experience as possible before graduation. She expected to move overseas as a missionary after college, but life took a surprising turn in 2010 when the Lord instead opened doors for her to go to graduate school at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. After her first year in her new home, Danielle was introduced to the Gardere neighborhood where, in 2012, she founded the SportQuest Baton Rouge PWP Project. The SQBR Project is just a small piece of the work the Lord has initiated in Gardere, where twenty-plus years of faithful seed planting by a small group of local believers has grown into an after school tutoring and summer enrichment program, youth sports teams, community garden, and neighborhood resource center for struggling families. Christians who are partnering in this work agree that community development and overcoming social ills such as crime, poverty, and racism must be rooted in the gospel’s power to transform hearts and minds.
Usually the city where someone attends graduate school is a temporary home, but God has called Danielle to stay and continue to serve in Baton Rouge. The past ten years have been a lesson in the basics of missions. Sometimes being a missionary means going somewhere, but it can also mean staying where you are. Either way, missions is always about living every day as a faithful disciple of Christ and inviting others to do the same. There is SO MUCH to love about Louisiana—incredible food, culture that overflows with hospitality and fun, LSU football, etc.—and Danielle is grateful for the opportunity to continue to do life and share the gospel in Baton Rouge. As locals might say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll).