Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 17, 2003
It's a new day for Janelle
Local singer leads others to Christ through her songs
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Trust in the Lord and do good;
so you will live in the land and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart
(Psalm 37: 3-4).
So reads Janelle Reinhart's guiding philosophy for her life's journey.
"I just loved the Lord, even as a child," Reinhart told close to 140 people at the Edmonton prayer breakfast, March 8.
Reinhart's career has been on the upswing since she became the official World Youth Day singer in Toronto. That career is founded on her family's strong faith and she grew up close to God.
She remembered watching 100 Huntley Street with her mother and would pray even before doing small things like baking cookies. Although she was not totally aware what it meant to dedicate oneself to God, she did that when she was a six-year-old girl.
"I think God really honoured that in spite of my innocence. Since then I have been continually open to whatever God is doing in my life," said the singer.
Janelle studied in a French immersion elementary school in Legal. She led a sheltered life. After Grade 8 she went to a school in Edmonton to continue French immersion.
On her first day in school, she realized there's more to life. Her awareness of what is right and wrong has helped her adjust to a new world.
She prayed the rosary and the chaplet of the Divine Mercy during her more-than-three-hour daily bus rides to home. She even led a Bible study among her friends while travelling from school to home.
"It was just a great time."
She felt very close to God and grew sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Her religious fervour was something other students did not appreciate. She received criticisms from her peers and went home one day crying.
"I couldn't understand why others don't love Jesus Christ as much as I love him," she told her mom.
But Reinhart continued what she was doing and was almost like a counsellor to her peers. She prayed with them. She started gaining friends, some of them even came and spent the night at their house in Legal.
Her family witnessed to her friends how closely knit and religious they are. One night that she had some friends over, her dad tucked her in after prayers and gave her a hug. Her father did the same to her friends.
"My friends did not experience the same in their homes and they were so touched with what my dad did."
At 15, she met a 21-year old man at a Life in the Spirit Seminar. She was asked to translate for him, because the man was from Quebec and was just learning to speak English. Reinhart fell in love with this man and thought he would be her future husband. Later, the man decided to join the Redemptorists.
"You cannot compete with the Lord," Reinhart said with a chuckle.
Her fate as a wife and mother would not begin to shape until she met her future husband Jason while singing for a Christian band. Jason, who was beginning his conversion journey, was invited to play with the band.
Because they played together, their friendship began to blossom as Jason began attending Janelle's family functions. Jason also decided to go to Radway's John Paul II Bible School.
As she was dating Jason, they agreed that they wouldn't kiss until they were married. At that time, Janelle was wearing a chastity ring.
Months later, Janelle came back from a mission trip to Haiti and she and Jason broke up because they thought "everything was going too good."
They thought they needed to give each other some space, otherwise they might suffocate each other later. However, they remained good friends.
Before she finished high school, she was considering going to JP Bible School but God did not direct her there. Instead, she was led to a Bible school in New Zealand, where one of her aunts lived.
For six months, she attended the New Zealand Catholic Bible school where she had the chance to be involved in evangelizing people. "I really experienced a closeness to Jesus," she said.
Her life was peaceful as God told her in one of her prayer moments, "I need to be your first love."
"That was the start of a new day in my life." This experience later inspired the creation of one of her songs, New Day, which is the title of her first CD.
While in New Zealand, the couple decided not to communicate with each other. But Jason knew he wanted to be Janelle's future husband.
So they began writing to each other and a new courtship began.
When one of Janelle's aunts in Canada became ill, she decided to come home since her contract in New Zealand was about to expire.
Her relationship with Jason grew stronger and yes, they married. On the night of their wedding, she gave Jason her chastity ring.
"Our first kiss was at our wedding," Janelle told the cheering audience.
Since marrying Jason, their relationship has been focused on their love for God, for each other and now for their son
Together, they help operate Life Visions Communications and reach out to young people and families through various media and popular music imbued with Christian values.