West Texans' Faith in Action (Pt. 1)

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - For many West Texans, Sunday morning means time to go to church. But for others here in the Permian Basin, having faith, and showing faith through actions, are two completely different things. On Sunday, NewsWest 9 took a look at one Odessa Woman, who said she's on a mission, and she calls it "Go Ask."

"I want people to know the greatest thing in the world is to ask people that question, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" explained Jean McDaniel of Odessa.

She's kept the same routine since January of last year.

"Nobody ever asks that question, nobody ever says anything, nobody ever comes and talks to people," said McDaniel.

So, she's off to "Go Ask." NewsWest 9 followed her to her first stop: Life Change Baptist Church.

But going to a church to ask if they know God?

"A lot of pastors think that we're just supposed to take it for granted that they know the Lord, and we don't know unless we ask them," said McDaniel.

"Before I go any further, I need to ask each one of you, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" asked McDaniel to several office workers at the church.

"Yes ma'am!" they responded.

And the pastor?

"Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" asked McDaniel.

"Well I do," replied the pastor. "Do you?"

"Yes," said McDaniel. "And you know if you were to die right now..."

"Oh!" said the Pastor, "I'm right next to Jesus, right there on Hallelujah Boulevard!"

Afterwards, McDaniel told NewsWest 9: "It's a blessing, people like this. They're Christians. Like he asked me, 'Do you know him?' Thank you, for asking me, because so many don't you see."

NewsWest 9 also followed McDaniel to a local 7-Eleven, and to First Baptist Church in Odessa. But her go anywhere, ask anyone mentality is only part of her Tuesdays.

"She has been coming [to Buena Vida Nursing Home] for a good length of time," explained Emory Mansour, a social worker at Buena Vida. "She has built up relationships with residents. She teaches not only her Bible class, but she goes down to the rooms, and does spiritual counseling."

"See, they don't think that anybody cares. They've lost the sight of love, and that's why I try to go and enlighten their little lives. And tell them, I go and tell them all, each one of them I love them," explained McDaniel.

"Jean comes because of her love for the elderly people. And that is just beyond measure. The worth that something like that provides to a facility like this. That someone is willing to come in, ran or shine, and spent time giving these people the comfort and the spiritual support they need," said Mansour.

And for Jean McDaniel, it's why she still hits the road every Tuesday.

"Happiness is being yourself, and helping others to be happy," said McDaniel.

In addition, she plans on writing a book. She said the title will be "Go Ask: Answers from the People."