SHAWNEE—When most 16 year-olds get a driver’s license, the first thing they might think about is all the places they can go with their friends. Oklahoma Baptist University
(OBU) sophomore biochemistry major Jacob Janzen, however, decided to use his license to help others.
Janzen came to OBU on a track scholarship where he runs in long distance events. This year Janzen made All-Great American Conference and NCCAA All-American. When he’s not running track for OBU during the school year, Janzen usually spends his summer delivering food for Meals on Wheels to families in need. Janzen got started when he noticed a call for drivers posted on his church’s bulletin board.
“I started my junior year of high school when I got my license, so it’s been about three years,” he said.
Janzen, who said he was looking for an opportunity to help out the Tulsa community, felt he could use his new license to do some of God’s work.
“They needed a lot more drivers because they’re so short staffed,” he said. “It’s really bad in north Tulsa, there’s a lot of poverty, so I felt called to go out there and try to do the best I can to help out.”
Janzen’s church in Tulsa provides the meals and has them ready for him to pick-up and deliver.
“I go and pick up all the meals and work out a route and deliver all the meals to the people and kind of visit with them,” he said. “Because we also keep an eye on their well-being, if they’re sick or something like that, we need to report it.”
Making sure those in need have something to eat, Janzen said, is a rewarding feeling. While some aren’t necessarily happy about having to receive help, Janzen said his deliveries are usually met with gratitude. One man, Janzen said, even invited him into his home once to share a piece of Scripture.
“We talked a little bit about some of our favorite Bible verses,” he said. “We talked several times about Paul’s letters, and he was a really big fan of Paul.”
Janzen said at the time he hadn’t studied much of Paul’s letters, and said the conversation made him feel led to read them more closely.
“It really helped me grow in my faith a lot, so I’m really grateful for that interaction,” Janzen said. “It only lasted 25 minutes or so, but it made a pretty lifelong, so far, impact.”
While Janzen doesn’t get much time to help out during breaks due to his family’s move to Edmond, he still helps out with Meals on Wheels at his old church every summer. Currently Janzen is working on his degree in biochemistry, so he can continue to help others in the medical field.
“I really would like to be a nuclear pharmacist, who works with compounding nuclear medicine for cancer treatments,” Janzen said.
In the meantime Janzen will continue to spend his summers helping to make sure that those in need can enjoy a good meal. Proof that sometimes all you need to do God’s work is a car, a full tank of gas and a willing heart.