Kaye had no idea what to expect the first time she walked through the glass front doors of the Christian Life Center at Shades Mountain. This blonde, third grade girl was at the beginning of a journey that would change her forever. Kaye was signed up for three weeks of KidsKamp in the summer of 2010. Beyond the fun and games of each week she found friends, leaders, and adults who really valued her. She enjoyed her experience so much she came back for five weeks of KidsKamp the following summer and her first Vacation Bible School at Shades.
In time, Kaye took on responsibility as a Volunteer Counselor at the very KidsKamp she had attended. She enjoyed pouring herself into the lives of the others just as she had been poured into. As the years passed, she built deep friendships with others at Shades. Now in Middle School, She was invited to come to a Middle School Retreat – an event put together by the Student Ministry at Shades.
Kaye came on the trip for what she thought would be a fun weekend with friends. What she experienced that weekend would be something so much more. On the second evening of the retreat Kaye heard about the love of Jesus in a way she had not considered before. She heard that not only did her Christian friends at Shades love her; God actually loved her as well. In fact, God wanted Kaye to know Him and grow in a relationship with Him.
Kaye listened intently as the speaker told the Middle School students how to begin a relationship with God. It meant believing in Jesus' death and resurrection for her sins. It meant asking for forgiveness and totally surrendering herself to God. She had already seen the love of God reflected in those around her and wanted to know that love for her own self.
Just days later, she stood before the church that she had come to know and told them of the decision she had made to begin a relationship with God. Standing in the water just before her baptism, there were the faces of so many that she had come to know over the years as friends at Shades. Now they were no longer just friends. The people of Shades Mountain Baptist had become her spiritual family. She was baptized and applauded by those present that day. She continues to grow, thrive, and invest into others at Shades today!