God's Lost-and-found Plan

August 01, 2005 | Brenda Adams

Elden Leroy, a Newport Church deacon, had lost his full set of church keys and couldn't find them.

Riding his bike home from the store one September day, 11-year-old Daryen Ackerman passed the front doors of the Newport Adventist Church. He noticed some keys hanging from the lock on the outside. Obviously, someone had left the keys in the lock by mistake, and the owner was very likely still inside the building.

Daryen opened the door and went inside, taking the keys with him. He quietly toured the church, but the building was empty. So he locked the doors behind him and took the keys home to ask his mother's advice.

Daryen and his mother noted that church services were held on Saturday, so the next Sabbath morning Daryen took the keys and found Janice Kobow and two other ladies at the church preparing for potluck. They directed him to give the keys to the head elder, Leonard Slyter, who identified them as the keys lost by deacon Leroy. Kobow invited Daryen to come with his family to church and potluck.

A week later Daryen, his mother April and younger sister Destiny attended church. Kobow introduced them and told the story of the lost and found keys. Church members welcomed the family and commended Daryen for his honesty.

April told how she and her children had been searching and praying for a church family that followed the Bible. They began attending church regularly and meeting with Janice Kobow for Bible studies during the week. They joined a small group who prayed with them and for them as their family weathered several crises.

On May 14, Daryen, April, and Destiny were baptized, their search for a church family now over. Among those invited forward for a prayer of dedication following their baptism was Elden Leroy, the deacon whose misplaced keys were part of God's plan.