Years before having children of their own, Jarrod and Mikalah Gaither were serving alongside their small group at SummerFest—the Great Adventure’s closing celebration. Admittedly, the couple didn’t know the full scope of the GA, but were happy to serve and bring smiles to kids’ faces. They didn’t know then how their years of involvement with GA would positively impact their family.
Over time, Mikalah moved into additional SummerFest roles and eventually ended up planning the entire event—and loving every minute of it. In her words, “When I am using my gifts to serve others, I am always amazed at how God blesses my life so much more in return.”
During those years of planning SummerFest, Jarrod and Mikalah began having children of their own—a daughter, Kinsley, and a son, Colton. And soon, Mikalah realized she was coordinating an event in celebration of something she had not experienced herself.
"When I am using my gifts to serve others, I am always amazed at how God blesses my life so much more in return."
That’s when the Gaither family decided it was time to begin hosting a Backyard Bible Club of their own. Doing so brought SummerFest to life for Mikalah, super-charging her excitement and commitment to the event. She saw first-hand how God used students to reach out to the community and the impact it had on kids. Mikalah also had the opportunity to share the gospel with her adult neighbor who brought her daughter to the club. As they sat listening to the students sharing with the children, the two women began talking about their own beliefs and the neighbor began asking questions.
The next summer, the woman’s daughter returned to the Gaither’s club and prayed to receive Christ. Mikalah sent her home with a Bible and can’t wait to see how God works in the lives of the mother and daughter, and how she can be a part of it.
Mikalah and Jarrod have also witnessed the impression BYBC has left on their own children. Kinsley, who was just 3 years old when the family began hosting, has continued to grow and soak up all she learns about God, but this year she prayed the ABC prayer and is excited about building a relationship with Christ in a whole new way.
Mikalah is so thankful for the gift serving has been for her personally, but especially for all the hands and feet of Jesus that make GA possible so kids like Kinsley can begin their adventure with Jesus. After their many years of involvement in the ministry, the Gaithers have learned that serving others is a great adventure unto itself.