By JoLynn Linnebur | Edited by Lori Devaney | Photo by Hannah Trussell
My Pathway story starts three years ago when I decided to visit because I heard about the awesome programs for children and I wanted my grand kids involved. My church background is one of on-and-off attendance; my dad never attended, but mom and I went most of the time to a small Baptist church here in Wichita. As a young adult, I accepted Jesus and was baptized.
I married at age 19, had two children, Chris and Kendra (who attend Pathway), but was abandoned by my husband and divorced. My heart kept speaking to me to take the kids to church, but bitterness and life’s struggles swayed me from that path, though my faith and belief had not left me. A short time later, I met my husband, Roger, a divorced father of two daughters, and in 1979 we became one family. The children ranged from ages 2–6. We added two more daughters to our family, Rebecca and Ashley, who attends Pathway with her family.
Roger’s job was good at providing for our family, but he worked 70 hours a week which allowed us very little family time. I wanted to go to church as a family, so each week I would allow the struggles of his job and my overwhelming responsibilities at home to keep us from attending.
The day I walked into Pathway for the first time, I knew I was home. I felt a connection that I had never experienced. My children started coming and inviting their friends. My daughter, Kendra, and her boyfriend, Justin, have gotten involved. My grandson, Caleb, has started singing at IGNITE services. The grand kids went to camps this past summer. My daughter, Ashley, and her husband, Stacy, have an idea in the works to encourage new people to come and feel connected. Ashley is a wonderful role model to her little sister, Rebecca, and is encouraging her to join us in this life-changing time at our church home. My husband, Roger, invited his brother, Sam, to join us, and he’s also involved at Pathway. I was baptized again, and had the privilege to baptize my daughter, Ashley. Kendra and Caleb also followed Jesus in baptism.
We have invited many of my husband’s co-workers with much success. When we step out of our comfort zone for the Lord, He steps up for us, inspires us, and helps us to succeed. My family is a work in progress; I still have some to inspire.
Don’t be like me. Jump out there. Go find Him. You’ll be glad you did. Introduce Him to others and your life will really begin, and so will theirs.