by Jordan Haney
CLEVELAND, Ga., “The Bible talks about how Jesus loved the little children and that is something very dear to my heart,” says Brianna Ebert, an Early Childhood Education major and senior at Truett McConnell University.
Born in Colorado, Ebert and her family soon moved to Virginia. A few short years later, her father began working for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in Georgia. The family relocated to Forsyth County and have been there since.
Early Beginnings in Soccer and Faith
“I’m part of a family of six,” Ebert remembered fondly. “My parents, my big brother Brandon, little brother Justin, and little sister Jessica, have all been lots of fun growing up.”
“I wanted to be outdoorsy, just like Brandon,” she recalled how she began playing soccer. “So, I started doing that as I grew up and I have played soccer pretty much my whole entire life.”
Ebert went on to describe her faith and how she came to know the Lord. “I was always involved in church and the AWANA program. I was seven years old and it was after AWANA one night when I accepted Christ. I went and talked to my parents and I just knew there was a God who loved me so much that He would send His son to die for me so that I could have eternal life. At that point, I knew I needed to pick up my cross and start following the Lord and make His name known. I started being more faithful and it was wonderful growing up in a Christian family who could encourage me in my faith.”
A Frightening Reality Check
During her seventh-grade year, Ebert had a major obstacle. She was thought to have a blood clot from soccer, and when she went to the doctor about it, they found she had a Chiari Malformation, a condition where brain tissue seeps into the spinal canal. “I met people there, in the hospital, that definitely gave me so much more of an urgency to share the Gospel.”
She explained how she had a lifechanging experience when she underwent brain surgery soon after. “There were friends I had met in the hospital that have passed away, and that gave me a reality check. Life is so short, whether you are sick or not. It really helped my faith grow and be stretched.”
As Ebert transitioned into high school, she had the opportunity to go to Honduras with World Changers. She also continued playing soccer throughout her high school years. She elaborated on how she came to Truett McConnell University: “I was recruited to play soccer at Truett by Coach McDowell. I played college soccer for two years and then retired because I had too many concussions to keep playing.”
Despite having to retire, Ebert has stayed active with the soccer team in many ways. “I do as much community service as possible with soccer. I do whatever Coach McDowell needs, from greeting the other team, to getting water for the teams. I have also led Bible studies and small groups throughout the years.”
A Career in Growth and Excellence
Ebert said her favorite part about her education at TMU was both the Christian Studies classes and her education major classes. “I got to really understand and grasp my faith before I got to my major classes. I was always great with foundational stuff.”
When she started her major classes, Ebert had nothing but praise for the education program. “That has definitely instilled in me a sense of doing everything with excellence. By doing everything with excellence, God is shown and glorified through you.”
Past Experiences Lead to Future Goals
“I had the opportunity to be a nanny for this little boy that was orphaned.” She fondly remembered how she nannied Sasha, a foster child from Ukraine for eight weeks.
Ebert explained the many hurdles she had with the little boy, as he didn’t speak English and had many habits that were due to his upbringing in a poor orphanage of 2,500 children. “I had never seen the grace of God and felt His presence literally every single day before those eight weeks.”
“The experience with Sasha completely changed my life but just being at [TMU] helped me understand how important it is to treat everyone, all human lives, with love. It helped me learn how to encourage people’s hearts using my faith. Truett really taught me to not let my faith be something I keep to myself, but rather, step out, do it, own it and never be ashamed of it.”
Ebert expounded on her future goals, sharing how blessed she was to already have a job lined up for her at Dave’s Creek Elementary School once she graduates. She hopes to continue mission work and gain more teacher certifications over the next several years.
“I want to eventually have a large house so I can have as many kids as possible through the foster care system. That is definitely something on my heart. I want to adopt one day.”
When asked why she had such a heart for children and orphans, Ebert replied, “Working with Sasha was definitely a big part of my heart for orphans and foster children. My mom was also adopted so that means a lot. It is amazing to see and know there are people out there to take care of others, especially children.”
Ebert has many goals for her future, but is most excited about teaching and hopefully working with foster children. “I just know that is something God has called me to do and I am so excited to see what that is going to look like.”
Jordan is a student and intern for the Marketing and Communications Department at TMU.Return to News Archive