I grew up in the church. I loved church as a kid. As I got older I started seeing things and noticing that people were not always as nice during the week as they were on Sunday. I had many issues with some people that claimed to be Christians and decided I hated all things church and Christians. I still believed in God and Jesus but I couldn't stand to be around "His" people. Some time had passed, and I was starting to feel further from God.

One morning (9 years ago) I was at my parents house on a Sunday morning and I woke up and God told me to go to church. Not in a booming GO TO CHURCH voice or anything. I just woke up and thought "we should go to church again". It was 10am at this point and we were not ready to go or anything so my dad told me to find a church that started after 11am. I did a Bing search (yes Bing not Google) and EastLake popped up. I knew nothing of EastLake, only that they had a service after 11am on a Sunday. We showed up and there were so many people! People greeting us at the door were so nice, but I was thinking: “This is fake, like all Christians are.” We walked into the service and I thought: “What am I doing here, in a huge church with so many people? I will never get to know any of these people!” I sat in the back as a good Baptist would. Music started and it was loud. The speaker got up and was talking about the 10 Commandments. At this point, I am not liking service. I have heard this a million times. Then in the middle of the talk, he says that we should not drink light beer. I looked at my dad and was thinking... “Did he really just say that?” I started actually listening to him. He was so funny and I got more out of that one hour than I did my whole life in church.

I knew I needed to come back to church. I am sure people can agree with this, but who wants to get up on a Sunday morning to go to church? Not me. I would rather sleep in. I also know myself and knew that I would sleep in if I had the choice. That day I signed up to volunteer. I signed up to serve in the babies room due to some personal things in my life. That is what I thought would be best for me. Because I signed up, I had to come in. I treated it like a job. I said I would be here so I was. Cuddling with the babies was amazing and I loved it, but I told Amy that she could move me wherever she needed me. Now I have worked in every single room you can think of and I love it. My heart and passion is to create a safe place for kids so that they can grow and learn all about Jesus and his love. Amy soon made me the service director and it has been the best place for me. I have also done many other volunteer roles at EastLake but kids is where my passion is.

I have now been here at EastLake for 9 years and have met so many amazing people and friends. People here are not fake. People truly are happy and they want to greet you. I have called and talked to people at the church during the week and to my surprise, they are nice. :) EastLake is home for me. These are the Christians that Jesus is talking about. They love. That is why I volunteer here.

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