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Baptism 06-04-2023

Silas Desiato

Hi. My name is Silas Desiato, I am 17 years old and just finished my junior year of high school at Cocalico. I was born into a Christian home and always tried to live that life, even if I struggled sometimes. I gave my life to Christ when I was 5 years old when my parents told me about heaven. Since then I have been trying to reflect the light of God as much as possible. In 2020 we moved from Cheltenham to Lancaster and the transition was a little difficult. We went to Calvary Chapel Lancaster for a few weeks but something just didn’t feel right, we weren’t getting connected with the people in the church. As soon as we went to LEFC, I noticed a difference right away. Everyone was so welcoming to us. In 2021 I went on the APEX missions trip to Camden New Jersey and throughout that week, I made some lifelong friends but more importantly I learned how for confidently pray for people that I don’t know. God called me to be baptized here at Sunday in the park and I want to get baptized as a confession of my faith to everyone.

Quentin Durante

Growing up, church has always been a huge part of my life. Me and my two brothers would always go to church every week for a good majority of our younger years leaning about God and his creation. It brought some of my favorite memories including going to church camp every summer, to late night drives with my grandma. While I loved my time at church, I never truly understood what it meant for me. I knew who Jesus was and what he did, but I never realized how he impacted my life. I felt as if I was going through the motions with no real relationship with God. It wasn’t until middle school where I eventually lost my connection with God. When I eventually got to middle school, other activities took priority and I wasn’t able to make as much time for church anymore until I had stopped going altogether. After that, my relationship with God had disappeared altogether. I would then go through my teenage years spending very little to no time with religion. It wouldn’t be until last year, almost 6 years later, where I would be reconnected with him.

My re connection with religion came from a very special person in my life, who reintroduced me to Jesus and his message. I didn’t know it at the time but this was Gods attempt to reconnect me with him. I attended Sunday in the park here at LEFC last year, my very first service in years, and I finally realized what I had been missing. As I was watching the baptisms happen in the pool of water, I felt waves of emotions flow over me. I didn’t know what I was feeling, but I knew I was in the right place. For the first time in my life I had felt a connection that I’ve never felt before drawing me towards Jesus. I knew right then that If I ever wanted to be baptized it would be there.

After that moment, I wanted to learn more about Jesus, but It had been a long time since I last started regularly attending church. My first few services were filled with uncertainty and questioning. Was this were I  was supposed to be?  How do I know that God really does save people?  Can he truly forgive all my sins?  These were some of the questions I asked myself.

Jesus says In Revelation 3:16 “So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”. I remember hearing this at a service and feeling this way. I was lukewarm and didn’t know what to do. For months I prayed and talked to some great people who helped guide me along the way. After a few months of services, I started to slowly but gradually believe what I was learning. I was no longer going through the motions, I created a real relationship with God. Until eventually, I knew Jesus was my savior who could forgive my sins and I wanted to give my life to him. I was no longer lukewarm; I was hot.

I now see all Jesus has done for me and my life. All of the blessings he has given me, the opportunities I have been given and amazing people that I love. I still go through plenty of struggles and some really rough times, and sometimes nothing seems to go my way. But I know that Jesus has a plan for me and that everything happens for a reason. I have a new outlook on life that can be characterized in my favorite verse: 

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 

I can now say confidently what Jesus means to me and my life. He is my savior and the king of all kings. He has done so many blessings for me and the people around me. He has taught me some very important lessons that I will live by for the rest of my life. I live everyday with confidence, purpose, and glory knowing He will be there for me. Every service I go to, I try and sing a little louder to praise him just a little more. As I move on to the next chapter of my life, going to college and becoming an adult, I will forever have Jesus to guide my path. 

Thank you again to my friends, my amazing family, and to all the people who helped me become who I am today. And to anyone who is ever unsure or lukewarm as I once was, know that Jesus has a plan for you and that he will always love you.

Kayla Ehly

My name is Kayla Ehly. I was raised in a Christian home with my mother and sister. At the age of 4 I was diagnosed with Autism. As the age of 8 my dad walked out on the family never to be apart of my life again. He was mean and yelled all the time, so his leaving us was a good thing. I struggled for many years with the effects of his verbal abuse in my early years of growing up. Between my dad leaving and my Autism diagnosis I struggled with anger issues and was in and out of treatment places. Even though I attended church all my life it wasn't until I was going to an Awana program at my grandmother's church that Jesus became real to me. At the age of 9 during our small group Bible time I asked Jesus into my heart. I wanted to follow Jesus and learn more. I still struggle with my Autism but have learned ways to cope. Jesus has been my strength when I fall down. I attend Lighthouse Day Program and I like telling people about Jesus. I don't know what God's plan is for me but I know He has one. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I try to live out my faith by trusting God each day. I want to be baptized to show my love for God.

Natasha Ehly

I am Tasha. I want to be baptized because I want to tell other people I am a follower of Jesus and go to Heaven someday to live with God. When I was 8 months old, I started having seizures which caused me to struggle later in school and with basic life skills. At the age of 4 my dad walked out of my life. My dad was very verbally abusive to my mom. He was always yelling at us and I felt he didn't care about me anymore. His leaving was a blessing in disguise but it left a big hole in my life and I continued to struggle with anger issues. At the age of 11 I was at Bible Club at a friend's church and accepted Jesus in to my heart. At this point I wanted to learn more about God. I was raised in a Christian home and had lots of support from my mom and other family members. I still struggle with depression and anxiety but God is healing me more and more as I trust in Him. I try to follow God and read my Bible. One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heat and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." I am realizing now that I am not alone and I am learning to trust God.

Jared Ferguson

Hi, my name is Jared Ferguson. I grew up going to LEFC as a little kid going to Sunday school but after a couple years my family stopped going to church as my parents struggled to find a church that fit both of their needs. My mom grew up Christian and my dad grew up Catholic so it was difficult for them to find a church that they both liked, so in the end we stopped going to a church completely. My dad being catholic, I was baptized at birth, but that wouldn’t save me from the things that I would do later on in my life. As I grew older without an actual relationship with the Lord, I started to fall into things unpleasing to God. As a teenager I was always seen as the “innocent” one in the friend group and I started to fall into peer pressure because I felt like I always needed to fit in. Because of this I lost a lot of that “innocence” that everyone said I had and it led to making more bad decisions throughout my teenage years. Throughout a 3 to 3.5 year span I struggled and fell into a bad place that I didn’t even know was bad for about a year and a half. I just thought what I was doing was “normal” and that everyone did it but it was things of this world and not things of God. I fell into addiction for a long time and it carried on into doing things in my relationships that I regret. Throughout my first relationship I still had never allowed God into my life or even made an attempt to know Him and throughout most of my second relationship, I had never had the desire to know Him until later on near the end of the relationship when I knew that I couldn’t keep living without Him anymore. I started to desire a relationship a little more but my actions in the relationship still didn’t come close to glorifying God. I am so blessed that God, in his unconditional love, pulled me out of these relationships to save me from where my actions were leading. About a year or so ago I was so lost and confused. I didn’t know where I was supposed to be and I didn’t have a plan for my life. I continued to make decisions that didn’t glorify God, trying to find what would fill that hole in my heart. No matter what I did there was always a missing thing and it wasn’t until around September of last year that it was time to allow God into my life and build a relationship with Him. It wasn’t always easy that’s for sure. There was always that temptation trying to bring me back to where I was and in the beginning of my journey with the Lord, I would fall into that temptation many times. But the more I grew in my relationship with God the more I would feel the conviction of the sins I was committing. I pray every day and The Lord gives me the strength to fight the temptation that I am faced with daily, and if 2 years ago you would’ve told me I would be walking with the Lord and that I would be set free of the addiction that I struggled with for so long, I would have thought it would take a miracle to have that happen. And that’s because it is! God’s works are so great and I am thankful for his love and forgiveness every day. One of the moments in my journey with the Lord where I felt the Lord’s presence so strongly was at LEFC during the Sunday Christmas service. We were worshiping through song and the big choir was up on-stage singing Glory to God in the highest and it was already so powerful in the beginning, but there was a moment where the song paused, the lights went off and everyone thought the song was over. And then out of nowhere it was a big outburst of the choir singing and the instruments playing and, in that moment, I felt like I was hit by the Jesus truck. The Lord’s presence filled that church and it filled my heart to the point where I had no other option than to cry. I was surprised at first by the tears but then I knew, “this is the overwhelming presence of my Lord and Savior.” It was the best feeling in the world and I knew that it was something I desired to feel again. It is a feeling like no other. In moments like that, the missing piece of your heart is filled completely and you want nothing other than to be in His presence. Throughout my journey of growing with Jesus, I have been taught that life without Him just doesn’t make sense. I need Him in my life in order to live. A verse that I go to a lot and one that helps me is John 1:5. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” Jesus is the light and He is the light of my life. Because of him I know that whatever darkness I fall into and whatever trials I am faced with, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. The light at the end of the tunnel is the same light that helps me through the darkness. Jesus is like a lit candle in a dark place. He allows you to see clearly, and he provides a path through the dark that surrounds you. He has been that light for me countless times, He is the flame that never dies. I know that He will be with me my whole life and I want to know Him through the entirety of it. He is the one who guides me on that narrow path, He keeps me out of trouble, and even when I slip up sometimes, He forgives me and helps me to get back on track. I don’t know where I would be without Jesus, all I know is it wouldn’t be anywhere good. Jesus was with me even when I didn’t know Him or had the desire to know Him. He knows everything I have ever done and everything I will ever do and He still loves me unconditionally and is there when I need Him. And for that I want nothing more than to hand my life over to Him and allow Him to do His works. I want to be a representation of who Jesus is and I want to help others find Him as well. Everyone deserves to feel the love of Jesus and know what it’s like to have a relationship with Him. Today is the day that I finally display my faith in Jesus publicly. I commit my life to Him and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Chandler Heller

Hi my name is Chandler and I am twelve years old. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was three years old coming home from where my mom taught. She was texting her friend that she was thinking about her. I asked her why and she explained to me that her son died just about a year ago. So then I curiously  asked did he go to heaven? My mom then explained to me that he went to heaven because he accepted Jesus in his heart. I said that I wanted to accept God in my heart. She then told me how I can also go to heaven by accepting God in my heart and what that means. 

I have seen God work in my life many times. One of them was when I was two years old and was grocery shopping with my mom. When we were done I was getting into our SUV, I lost my balance and fell straight on my head.  I was very pale and not talking so my mom thought I had a concussion. It was cool to see how God provided many people from this church in that accident. First a church member came over in the parking lot to be sure I was ok.  My mom decided to take me to a restaurant to evaluate me since it was dark outside. A nurse was there that went to our church too.  Then a man at the restaurant asked if he could pray for me and he prayed that I would be completely healed.  After his prayer things really changed and I immediately started talking and running around.

God has been showing me what it means to be a Christian.  I’m learning more about prayer and how to talk to God.  Recently I’ve been praying for my cousin who got married and moved to Australia.

I want to get baptized to show people that I accepted Jesus in my heart because he gave his own life so that I could have eternal life through him. I know that God is real because I have seen him work in my life. Also because of the miracles he has performed in my life and the life of others and the prayers he answers.

Ali Hurst

My name is Ali Hurst. I am 11 years old. I grew up in a christian home and went to church, But I would never go because of God but to have fun and see my friends. Then Covid 19 struck and we had to stay home from church. Sometimes I would watch church with my mom and dad. During Covid I was scared at first, I asked my parents a lot of questions about Covid and Christianity. I would hear about people dying and not knowing Christ and that challenged me to think about myself and my relationship with God. One Sunday after the service I accepted Jesus into my heart and was filled with a feeling of peace and safety.

I have come to learn that this is a journey I am on and I will continue to grow closer to God. He sees and hears me. 

I know I am not alone.
One of my favorite bible verses is Nehemiah 9:17 it says

You are a God who forgives

You are gracious.

You are tender and kind.

You are slow to get angry. 

You are full of love.

It is one of my Favorite verses because it tells you who God is and that he loves us. I am being baptized today to show that I believe in the one true God and that he sent his son to die for my sins and that I can have eternal life with him.

Kiera King 

Hi, my name is Kiera, my family and I always went to church, and started to go to LEFC when I was 2. At first I didn’t pay attention or understand what it was about. Now I know that Jesus died for my sins, and that He rose again. I can’t wait till Jesus comes and takes us with Him. I want to get baptized today to show that I believe in Jesus and that I want to live for Him. My favorite bible verses are the Lord’s prayer. I thank God for bringing me into this world and saving me from my sins.  

Marly King

My name is Marly King. I am 12 years old and I decided to get baptized today because I want everyone to know that I believe in Jesus.I had always wanted to be a christian. I believed that he was real, but didn’t fully understand the gospel. After I had a talk with my dad I understood that Jesus died for my sins, and that he rose again. I have always wanted to get baptized after that, so today I want to show that I believe in Jesus, and that I want to follow Him for the rest of my life. My favorite bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understandings, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your path straight. I like this verse because God’s promise is that if you trust in him all of your heart He will make your path of life straighter.    

Ryan Kline

I was raised in a christian family and I accepted the holy spirit into my heart when I was 6 but I never really cared about it and just went with what I was supposed to do. But later in life, when I was 9 I had an incident happen while playing backyard football, I lost a tooth and broke 13 teeth and I had a ton of oral surgery. I knew God was testing my faithfulness and I started praying. This was when I developed a real relationship with God. Jesus has saved me and has rescued me. Since then I have had many challenges but I always pulled through, Jesus has made my life better than ever.

Nathan Potts

My name is Nathan Potts, and this is my testimony of how I came to Christ. First off, I have had the privilege of growing up in a loving Christian family, and I have attended LEFC for all 15 years of my life. The first time I can remember when I asked about Jesus was when I was about 5 years old. I was on a back road with my mom in the car. I asked some questions about the things we were learning in Sunday school, and she helped me understand more about what Jesus did for me and all of us on the cross. That is when I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart.

As a younger kid, I knew God was my savior because I asked him into my life years prior, but I still didn't have the relationship aspect that I knew I needed. Up until the past two years, it has been an on and off thing. Sometimes God was my focus, and other times I put off my relationship with him. I am here today to show that I have changed that.

Starting high school this past year and getting older I've started seeing all the evil going on in our world daily, and this has only wanted me to pursue God more. I serve at LEFC on the worship team where I play guitar. This has been the greatest part yet of my journey with God because whenever I feel the pressure of this world, I can just turn to his word and music that glorifies him. Playing songs such as "Let the Redeemed," "Jesus Firm Foundation," and "King of my Heart," have settled me in times of uncertainty. Jesus to me is like our foundation that we can stand strong on, and he is a place that we can feel safe from sin. One of my favorite parts of the bible is in Psalms Chapter 150 verses 1, 2, and 6. "Praise the Lord. Praise him in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." To me, these verses capture what I want to feel and express in my relationship with him, and in my love towards others. Living with a relationship with Christ, I feel refreshed. I now don't feel afraid, I feel strong because I know I have a warrior on my side. I am being baptized today to show that I am made new in Christ, and that I am entering a new family, God's family.

Blakely Sowada

Hello, my name is Blakely Sowada, I’m 14 years old, and this next year I will begin 9th grade.  My dad is one of the pastors here.  

I grew up in a Christian family, with two parents who faithfully walked with the Lord. They modeled this relationship and taught us the truth but never forced faith on me.  Because of this, I knew who God was, and I knew He was important, but I was never sure of what a relationship with Jesus should look like for me. I saw all of my friends putting their faith in Christ and being baptized, and honestly, I often felt guilty that I hadn’t.  My parents were patient with me and never pressured me.  I realized I was putting that guilt on myself. Over the last several years, I have struggled with a lot of anxiety and fear. I was often told to pray and talk to God about it, but I didn’t really know what that looked like. I wondered if God really heard me.

In my first year in Crossover as a 7th grader, my amazing leaders had a huge impact on my life.  I never felt like I had to fake my faith or pretend that I was further along in my faith than I was.  My leaders and friends were so understanding and encouraging.  They met me where I was.  It was during this year, 7th grade, that I put my faith in Jesus as my Savior and desired to make Him Lord of my life. It clicked. I finally understood what a relationship with Him meant. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for me, so that in Him, I might become the righteousness of God.” My leaders walked alongside me, showing me who God is and what growth in Him looks like.  I heard them saying the same things I grew up hearing at home.  I began to realize my parents weren’t as weird as I thought.

For me, growth has looked like turning to the Lord in need quicker, faster, and more often. Since then, I have found myself turning to Him not only when things were hard or when I was in trouble.  

Recently we had the opportunity to visit friends and family in Europe and visited the Swiss Alps.  When surrounded by those majestic mountains, my heart couldn’t help but praise God for His wonderful creation. I realized I can look to Him whenever and wherever, not just in times of need or when things are hard.  

Growing up, I saw baptism as something you did if you could promise to be a good Christian without failing.  I felt like I had been waiting for the perfect moment to be baptized when everything was going smoothly, when I felt like a ‘good Christian.’ 

I realize now this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have come to realize it’s not about my faith or performance but about Jesus’ perfect faith and performance on my behalf.  God has always been and always will be faithful to work in me. Baptism is an outward symbol of faith in Christ, an opportunity to proclaim and share what He’s done in me.

Getting baptized doesn’t mean that I’m not going to struggle.  I know the Lord will continue to use my family, friends, leaders, and you, the body to help spur me on and encourage me in my walk with Christ.  I hope I can do the same for others as well.  

Baptism 05-14-2023

Megan Anthony

My name is Megan Anthony, and I am married to my husband, Shawn. We have three beautiful children together and I am also fortunate to be a bonus mom to his three older children that he had from a previous marriage. I was raised in a Catholic family, my mom, dad and my two brothers, we went to church every Sunday. I went to Catholic School all of my life through high school. I always believed in God because that was just what I knew. I am grateful for my upbringing because it did give me an understanding of God. But these last two years coming to LEFC, especially this last year, believing in God became more than that. I didn’t just know God or understand the story, for the first time in my life, I started to believe in His story. My whole outlook on life, my children, my husband, my future has changed drastically. I never knew what it truly meant to believe in God, to believe that Jesus died for us, and he died for us so we could be saved. And even as sinners, if we believe, if we truly believe, we will be blessed forever.

Hearing many testimonies since starting at LEFC, I thought to myself will I have this big
aha moment? And I wanted that big aha moment, but everyone is different when they come to know Jesus and accept him truly and completely. I didn’t have one big aha moment, I have had many small aha moments where things just made sense. And my heart felt different and at peace. One significant moment I had, probably one that really sticks out to me is one day, my three girls were all singing one of the worship songs they were learning for the kids worship service and they were just singing their hearts out and, in that moment, I felt so at peace and just filled with genuine happiness and the words they were saying “Jesus is coming back, Jesus is coming back” just made sense to me and I knew in that moment, my children were on the right path and I was on the right path. I am forever grateful for what Jesus has done for me and my family. Making connections and making friends within the church and some being the families of my children's friends, just adds to that sense of peace that I am right where I am supposed to be. As a mother, a wife, a friend, and most importantly, a believer.


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