Driving south on I-75 from Louisville, KY, my wife, a friend of mine, and I were on our way to a place very special to me. For six months, I had been telling both of them of an amazing place that changed my life when I was 16. My excitement could hardly be contained in that 3-hour drive to Williamsburg. Thoughts kept racing through my mind as I tried to recall the memories of my first time there. I knew they had a new location and were in a new building. I say new, but they had been in their current building for the past 14 years. How much I had missed!
Would Keith remember me? Would I remember him? We had talked on the phone many times in preparation for our reunion. Much had been accomplished in such a short time since reconnecting. But much more was left to be done. I can only imagine somewhere outside of time that there was a smile on God’s face when I finally saw Keith again after 16 years.
This is what was going through my mind when I went back to a place that changed my life as a 16-year old when I first met Keith Decker on a youth trip from Parkview Baptist Church in Eufaula, AL. My memory isn’t the best, but one thing does stand out. When I volunteered there, I saw first-hand what a ministry that works in Christ’s name should be like. For 18 years, Keith has been serving the people in Williamsburg and Southeastern Kentucky by providing them with food, clothing, shelter, and anything else that may be needed. He’s done this much at his own expense in his money, time, and personal resources.
I’ve been involved with many non-profit ministries since that time and they all just come short compared to Cedaridge. Keith and his wife, Joyce, have put a lot of love into Cedaridge and anybody who takes the time to volunteer there will see what an amazing example they are of how to serve Christ by serving others. I encourage anybody to spend a week with them working along side them. The need is great both for the Deckers and for the people they serve. You will not come away from there the same as when you arrived.
Driving north on I-75 away from Williamsburg, I was saddened to be away from there, but had finally reconnected with a dear friend. And there will not be another 16 years to pass before I return to Cedaridge. Although I live, for now, in Colorado, I am doing whatever I can to continue to volunteer at Cedaridge. God is working great things there and it is exciting to see it and to be a part of it!
In Christ’s Service – Sid Lane