Year of Disciple-Making: Persistence Leads "One" to Christ

Jun 02, 2017

Kalan noticed something was different about Adam. As the two got to know each other at work, Kalan found that he respected Adam as a husband and dad, and he recognized Adam as a Christian who genuinely lived out the things he claimed were true.

Kalan was searching for truth, so the two began talking. He knew his family— his wife Carylynn and their young daughter—was missing something that he could neither find nor offer. He had tried almost everything to find peace, only to be left with more questions. “How can God forgive me if I can't forgive myself?” he asked. “How can God love me when I don't even like myself?”

While Kalan was asking questions and searching, Adam quietly named Kalan his "one"—the one person he would pray specifically for God to bring to faith this year. Adam and his wife Mary invited Kalan's family over for dinner. They asked them hard questions. Through the Spirit's prompting, they were bold (and, admittedly, obnoxiously persistent) in their gospel conversations.

Kalan and his family visited the Summit’s Alamance County campus soon after and told themselves they would give it four weeks. During this time they also visited a small group and in their first visit found support like they had never experienced before. They felt loved and safe in their questions and vulnerability.

On their fourth and final “trial” weekend at the Summit, Kalan felt like God was speaking directly to him. He even leaned over to Carylynn at one point during the service and said, "I think I'm Adam's one." But the two weren't planning on getting baptized. They weren't even completely sure what that meant.

But the Holy Spirit was drawing them. The pieces were falling into place. And all the unanswered questions no longer mattered. On the second baptism call at the end of the service, Kalan stood up, and Carylynn quickly followed.

In the hallway, the couple hugged. This was what they had been searching for. They met separately with baptism counselors. Kalan was amazed to hear how similar his past was to the counselor God had led him to. And when he found out Tony, the prison campus pastor, was going to baptize him, he was overwhelmed. So many pieces of his painful past were lining up into a new and beautiful story. As Kalan and Carylynn were baptized, Adam and Mary stood cheering nearby.

Kalan and his family left that Sunday rejoicing in the new life and hope they had found. But on Monday morning, Satan attacked. They found out that their daughter had been having ongoing seizures, and she was immediately scheduled for testing. Their new small group rallied around them in prayer. Kalan and Carylynn were left vulnerable, wondering if they could really trust this God they had just given their hearts to.

For the first time in Kalan's life, he was able to lay this burden at someone else's feet. He gave his daughter over to the Lord—and God was faithful. Their daughter's test results came back clear, and she hasn't had a seizure since the prayers started.

Soon after being baptized, a couple from the Alamance County campus found out that Kalan and Carylynn needed a second vehicle and within a few days had signed over the title of their van to them. God was showing his love through his church. It was something Kalan had never experienced before.

Adam and Mary have been changed, too. Adam is learning what true accountability means as he and Kalan see each other every day at work and walk this journey together. Mary's faith has been renewed as she's seen God answer prayer and radically change lives.

The gospel has come alive to Kalan in tangible ways as he's seen Mary pursue God wholeheartedly and Christ-like sacrifice in Adam, whom he now considers his brother.

And in God his Savior, he’s seen the kind of loving father he longs to be, the kind who pursued him long before he realized it. God was writing a story in Kalan’s seeming mess and using Adam and Mary to model his grace.

"I've never known where I was supposed to be,” Kalan shared. “For once, now I know I'm supposed to be at the Summit."

by Tiffany Pollard