Celebrating Fall Baptisms: Stories of Life Change

Posted by Diana Wells, Contributing Writer, on Nov 03, 2020

Celebrating Fall Baptisms: Stories of Life Change

The weekend of September 20, 2020, four Chase Oaks campus locations celebrated stories of life change and God’s work in their midst. After months apart during the pandemic, families were eager to gather safely outdoors and enjoy food, games, and live worship music together. At the heart of the celebration, 18 people took the step of being baptized during the evening to publicly share their decisions to follow Jesus in their daily lives.

The following are just a few of their stories:

Christian Juma

Christian is the 8-year-old son of Rebecca Bosire, and he came to Chase Oaks before he was even born. His mother first visited Chase Oaks about eight years ago. She was on her way to her former church but decided to stop at Chase Oaks instead. On February 5, 2012, her first day at Chase Oaks, she was baptized. She was pregnant with Christian at the time.

Christian originally hoped to be baptized earlier this year but had to wait for another opportunity due to the pandemic. For him, baptism means pleasing God and showing the whole world that he is a follower of Jesus. Making this event even more special was the fact that Christian's mom, Rebecca, was able to baptize him.

Christian and his family are active at Chase Oaks. His mom loves serving in Kidzone and Friend to Friend, where she continues to make a huge impact in the faith of young children. Christian is also in a Group along with his parents and siblings.

Alyssa Shuman

Alyssa has endured many personal struggles throughout her life. In 2016, she began to understand and trust the power of God to bring about hope for real transformation. She was able to make progress in overcoming her challenges, and over the next three years she learned a great deal about following the Christian path. In 2019 she joined an Established group at Chase Oaks. It was a life-changing experience for her because through Established, she saw the community, compassion, grace, and intentionality that form and stem from the Christian faith.

She became eager to learn more and has since bought her own Bible, participated in Group discussions, expressed and showcased her vulnerability, and proudly raised her hands during worship. God has given her confidence when she has had doubts, and He has paved a pathway for her life.

Alyssa says that her baptism experience was "incredible!" She felt loved and supported by everyone who attended, including her parents, her Established group, and the Chase Oaks staff. She chose her Established group leader, Lori, to baptize her because she has had the biggest influence in her walk with Jesus.

Alyssa still meets weekly with her Established group, who have become like family. As a kindergarten teacher, she is passionate about influencing kids in their spiritual journey and simply paving the way for them to connect with Christ. She also plans to attend a mission trip next year, along with one of her best friends. She is confident that with the support of Chase Oaks, her faith and ability to serve will continue to grow and flourish.

Kelly Harris

Kelly found out about Chase Oaks through her friend Nash, who attends Chase Oaks. She visited in February and has been coming ever since. She continued attending online during the pandemic, started reading the Bible and accepted the Lord into her life in September of 2016 when she became a Jesus-follower.

For Kelly, her baptism experience was fulfilling both inside and out, and she will continue her transformative journey of following Jesus at Chase Oaks.

Kathryn and Max Lysko

Kathryn and her family moved from Dallas to Allen in 2011 and were looking for a new church home in the suburbs. Several of their neighbors went to Chase Oaks and encouraged them to visit. They did and quickly discovered that they loved the worship service and the kids' ministries through Kidzone.

Kathryn lost her mom in March of this year, so it has been a tough time for her, her dad, and her children. Her 9-year-old son Max often spoke about how much he missed his grandmother, which led him to ask lots of questions about God, the Bible, heaven, and death. After a few conversations, Max decided to ask Jesus to come into his heart. Then, he wanted to make it official and let others know that he had "accepted God" by getting baptized.

When Max signed up for the baptism class, Kathryn learned that Chase Oaks' policy is that anyone who has been baptized is qualified to baptize someone else. Kathryn has been a Jesus-follower since high school but had never been baptized. She was motivated by her son's initiative and didn't want to let this opportunity pass her by. She asked her dad to baptize her on the same night as Max's baptism.

On September 19, in a tub on the grass in front of the church, Kathryn's dad baptized her, and then she baptized her son, Max. It was a memorable evening.

When Kathryn reflects on that day, she is grateful for her son's boldness and certainty. She thinks that sometimes, children can see the big picture better than adults, who carry more worries and insecurities. She is also thankful that God is bringing her family closer to Him. Kathryn says that their baptism story shows that faith is a legacy that can be passed down from generation to generation, and it can also start in the heart of one child.

These are just a few of the stories of people whose lives are being changed by their faith. If you’d like to learn more about baptism, look here.

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