‘Yes, we’ll take them!’
California Pastor in Foster Care Ministry
The cell phone rings as Kiyle and Anissa Decker
return home to Grace Baptist Church, Eureka,
Calif., from a California Association of Regular
Baptist Churches retreat in Cambria. A county
official asks if the family would take in two foster
kids, both girls, a baby and a 5-year-old. “Yes, we’ll
take them!” answers Anissa with no hesitation.
But God’s blessing is more than just adding these
two to the Decker home; His blessing permeates
Kiyle’s life, the ministry of Grace Baptist Church,
and the county foster care system.
The first of three threads in this story started five years ago,
when Kiyle began experiencing stomach problems. First he
adjusted his diet, but that helped for only a short time. Cleansing and homeopathic remedies also failed to give long-term
help. The problems continued to the point where Kiyle’s digestive system was no longer working. “I didn’t understand what
was going on,” he says. Doctor visits provided no answers.
The second thread began in September 2012 when Kiyle
and Anissa, after much prayer, began the process to become
foster parents. With the help of a friend, they were quickly
enrolled in a two-month class. They went through the first
steps of becoming foster parents, learning CPR and first aid.
Everything was moving forward smoothly, except for the
home study. They could not gain approval as parents because
they were repairing their bathroom.
The third thread came in the summer of 2012 at Grace
Baptist’s family camp. A local boy had been invited to the
camp, but he quickly became disruptive and was often very
angry. Kiyle spent most of the camp in intensive counseling
with him, which they continued after camp. Slowly but surely
the young man began to change. “God was blessing me with
this kid,” explains Kiyle. Eventually the young man, as well as
his estranged father, came to salvation. The two are currently
working toward reuniting.
Unbeknownst to Kiyle, this kid was part of the county foster
care system. One day as Kiyle and Anissa sat through their
foster care class, the head of the county foster care system
came in. As she listened to Kiyle speak about being a pastor
and about his love for Jesus, she connected the dots. “You’re
that guy!” she said, expressing how amazed she was by the
turnaround in the life of this one young man.
“To the county, we look like heroes,” says Kiyle. “I just keep
telling them about the Lord.”
Not only were Kiyle and Anissa suddenly on the fast track
to becoming foster care parents, but Kiyle was given an open
door to share more about Jesus. He was asked to do more
intervention with kids, to counsel parents who were ready to
by CHIPS ROSS