Seven years ago, Kay and David Adams stepped off a cruise ship, ready to resume their everyday lives. But for Kay, it was as if the cruise never ended.
“When we got off the ship, my equilibrium didn’t come back,” Kay said, and it still hasn’t.
She was eventually diagnosed with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, or MdDS, an extremely rare disorder of the body’s balance system that can last a month, a year or even longer, as in Kay’s case.
For a woman who was always active, always involved with her kids’ activities, always looking for someone to help, MdDS turned her life upside down.
“Since then, I sometimes have to stay in bed during the day, but a lot of the time I’m better and you just have to deal with it,” Kay said.
When Kay and Dave moved to Plano four years ago, they immediately searched for a new church home, and discovered Prestonwood Baptist Church.
Limited by a rare medical condition, Kay Adams found a way to serve by baking cookies and other treats.
“That was on the day before Easter,” Kay said, “and we went to church at Prestonwood the next morning and we fell in love with it.”
They soon joined Covenant, a Bible Fellowship led by Dick DeWitt and taught by Eddie Caldwell, and they were eager to get involved in Christian outreach. But Kay’s MdDS limited what she could do.
“I was praying, ‘God, what can I do to help others?’ and He put this on my heart—it woke me up in the middle of the night—and it was the word ‘cookies.’
“I asked my husband, ‘If I was going to do anything to help people, what would I do?’ He said, ‘You bake.’”
And so began Miss Kay’s Cookie Ministry.
Several members of her Bible Fellowship, including Eddie and Paula Caldwell, are part of a weekly Bible study in the Bonton area of Dallas. Miss Kay, as everyone calls her, saw an opportunity.
“I just love people, so I asked if they could take some cookies to Bonton for the Bible study,” she said.
Of course, they said.
“Since then, every week Miss Kay makes up a big old pan of cookies—it’s filled with cookies— and I pick them up and take them down,” Paula Caldwell said. “It’s a huge blessing, and the people there are so grateful.”
Cookies are Miss Kay’s specialty, but her Valentine’s Day candy is delicious!
Initially, Paula said, the people of Bonton thought she made the cookies since she brought them every week.
“I said, ‘No, I’m just the delivery mechanism.’”
Eventually, they met Miss Kay. And now, whenever they see her, the people at the Bonton Bible study line up, wondering aloud “what kind are they this week?” Paula said. “And she loves requests.”
“She was there a few weeks ago and a woman who runs the Bible study, her birthday was coming up and she requested her favorite kind of cookie,” Paula said, “and Miss Kay said, ‘Absolutely!’
“The people are so touched that someone would want to do something for them, and go out of their way every week to minister to them.”
Often, Miss Kay relies on the classics. “Their favorites seem to be oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip and peanut butter and an Oreo shortbread,” she said.
“I normally do cookies, but Eddie said they’d love anything. So this week I did ‘Death by Chocolate’—with pudding and mousse and Heath Bars.”
But since some regular attendees have to watch their sugar intake, Miss Kay makes sugar-free cookies and desserts, too.
So right next to the big bowl of “Death by Chocolate” on the island in her kitchen was a slightly different treat, similar, but made without sugar, with a scattering of sugar-free chocolate chips on top instead of the Heath Bars.
Miss Kay never forgets people with diet issues, making regular and sugar free cookies and other treats.
Nearby was another box, filled with handmade sweets for Valentine’s Day.
Miss Kay always makes extras, too, so members of the Bible study can share the treats with the homeless.
Now that she occasionally appears at the Bible study, “people are starting to get comfortable enough with me that they ask me to make their favorites,” Miss Kay said.
“It’s just wonderful.”
Mike Beeson, Director of Local Missions, said Miss Kay is a great example for anyone who wants to help and bless others.
“People create excuses for why they can’t do something,” Mike said, “but she figured out a way to be involved. And God has a plan of involvement for every one of us.
“Some people have the wherewithal and health to do crazy things,” he said. “And some people stay home and make cookies and bless people.
“The love Miss Kay brings into the community through the simple act of making cookies is amazing.”