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After knowing each other for a long time, Hans and Sarah Nickel married in 2006. They were raised in the same Augusta community, attended high school together, and shared a similar religious upbringing. They attended church intermittently but found they weren’t really “connected” to church. After a few years of marriage, the pair began to feel unsettled and unsatisfied with their faith.
Their daughter, Madison, was invited by her friend Campbell to attend Double Play. The girls had a great time and Campbell’s mother, Jessica, invited the Nickels to join them for a service at Pathway. Sarah was hesitant; her church background was more conventional and formal. Hans encouraged her saying, “Let’s just try it.” Sarah felt immediately welcomed because of the Guest Ministry team. The warm smiles and friendly greetings eased the tension of trying something new. Before long, Sarah and Hans attended Starting Point, joined a Home Team, and started volunteering in Guest Ministries—all following Hans’ “just try it” philosophy.
As Hans and Sarah developed close relationships with the members of their Home Team, their faith and connection to God grew as well. Both were baptized in infancy, but they felt called to be baptized as adults. It was the final step of becoming a partner at Pathway. In October, Hans and Sarah were baptized by friends in their Home Team. Sarah said the best part of that day was the friendship and closeness of having their Home Team celebrate with them. She said the baptism brought a sense of relief and connection with God that she had not previously experienced.
Prior to coming to Pathway, the Nickels felt disconnected from God. Sarah said she felt lost. They trusted God, but they did not lean on Him. Since becoming more involved, they trust God like never before. They have developed new friendships and are serving in ways that push them beyond their comfort zones. Sarah says getting involved keeps blessing their family in completely unexpected ways.