Arielle Nivens, a Blount County YOKE Folk, had just started YOKE in the spring last year and wasn’t necessarily looking forward to YOKE camp. Camp fell on her birthday, and she was hoping to do something special with her boyfriend.

She decided to go to camp anyway and said, “It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I grow closer to the Lord that weekend, but my YOKE kids as well.”

One of those YOKE kids was Sawyer. Sawyer’s favorite memory from YOKE camp was cabin time – where YOKE kids get to ask questions, talk with their YOKE Folk about the gospel message they’ve heard, and simply discuss what is going on in their lives. Sawyer said, “I will never forget how much that simple gesture helped me in my time of need. I found out how much I mean to God.”

As a result, Sawyer rededicated her life to the Lord that weekend and said, “It completely changed my life.” Arielle added, “It was such an amazing experience to talk to her and see that she is going through the same things I went through at her age. I was honored to kind of be her guide to the Word and to the Lord.”

Since then, Sawyer and her mom started attending and joined Arielle’s church, sang in the Christmas Choir, and Sawyer is part of the youth group.

Arielle added, “I have watched her go from being this shy middle schooler to an amazing young woman after God’s own heart. Sawyer might not know this, but she has become the little sister that I always wanted. I am extremely proud to have been able to help guide her on her journey to Christ. I am going to miss her being a part of YOKE next year, but I do know she will go on to do amazing things. She really is captivating to watch with her love for God.”