By Brenda Neuhaus | Photo by Serena Shurtz
Holmes and Lahna Andrus made a leap of faith that most parents would consider terrifying: they allowed their teenage daughter to choose the church the family would attend. It was a decision they did not take lightly. Their older daughter, Janelle, who now attends Oral Roberts University, had successfully navigated her high school years with the help of the youth group at their former church. But they were concerned that their youngest daughter, Becca, had not made that all-important connection with the same youth group; she was not making good choices in her friendships and activities. Their concern led to a “deal” with Becca:“Find a church where you feel connected and we’ll all go there as a family.”
Last summer, Becca’s friend, Maddy Koehn, invited her to attend Christ In Youth with IGNITE, Pathway’s student ministry. Becca’s search for a new church was over; she felt an immediate bond with the leaders and kids in the group. Becca joined a small group and her parents saw her blossoming under the mentoring of Sara Hutchison. She has formed good, positive friendships, and is now a leader in the student ministry as she works with middle schoolers, memorizes Scripture, and tithes from her paycheck. Now a junior at Maize High, Becca and other students from Pathway helped establish Fellowship of Christian Athletes at their school. Her parents are so grateful to Maddy for the initial invitation and for the leadership of the student ministry who made Becca feel welcome.
Holmes and Lahna followed Becca to Pathway as promised. They joined a Sunday group where Holmes is now leading. They attended a Home Team Connection Event and found a small group that is a great fit. When Holmes was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November, they were blessed by the love and support these groups gave them during his treatment. He is now cancer-free and so thankful for God’s healing and grace shown to them by their Pathway family.
It was difficult to leave a church where they had attended for 20 years and make the change to Pathway, but both Holmes and Lahna say the move was a “huge blessing” to their family. Holmes says, “Pathway is a tremendous place to grow your faith.”
God brought Becca to Pathway through the invitation of a friend and the Andrus family is so thankful they followed. Holmes sums it by saying; “Pathway has been a huge blessing for all of us in so many ways.”