Along with just nine other students in her school, 11-year-old Shelby Halstead was on the verge of receiving an award for perfect attendance during the past school year.
Shelby had also earned several Pathfinder honors during the year and was looking forward to attending this year’s Iowa-Missouri Pathfinder Camporee. However, that would mean missing a day of school and losing her perfect attendance record.
Her parents left the decision to Shelby, encouraging her to do what she believed Jesus would have her do. Shelby decided to attend camporee, and while there she responded to a call given to the campers to give their hearts completely to God.
Twenty-seven campers were baptized on Sabbath during camporee, but Shelby wanted to wait until her parents could be present. In consultation with her parents, her Pathfinder director, Jeffrey Fender, arranged for a special baptism on Sunday morning so her parents could be there. Family and friends gathered to witness Shelby’s baptism, and when one young man, Caleb Loa, was walking to the lake with his pastor, Mark Tagaloa of the Independence Samoan Company, he confided in the pastor that he had been struggling with his decision to be baptized and asked if he could be baptized along with Shelby. Heaven rejoiced as Caleb joined Shelby in baptism, and Shelby’s difficult decision turned into another soul won for God’s kingdom.
Shelby was received into fellowship of the Lebanon Church in Missouri, along with the six other baptisms that resulted from an Amazing Facts evangelistic series and Bible school this spring. Forty-seven guests attended the series, and 11 completed the Bible school lessons. Several other attendees from the series are now regularly attending church and studying for baptism.