‘Baptismal Fiesta’ Takes Unexpected, Exciting Direction

Post a Comment » Written on March 28th, 2007     
Filed under: News
PUEBLA, MEXICO (March 28, 2007) – Jerry Love had the baptismal service all planned. He knew how the service was supposed to proceed. God had different ideas, says the Evangelical Covenant Church missionary.

Jerry and his wife, Vicky, are planting a church here and were looking forward to the two adults and four children scheduled to come forward for baptism. He had not imagined the power of the testimonies that would be offered – nor the response. The baptism fiesta was about to get out of hand.

“I had prepared a message to be delivered after the baptisms, which were to take place in our newly tiled baptismal cistern,” Love says. Fathers had been invited to help baptize their own children. “We never counted on the emotional and spiritual impact of this shared experience,” he says. Testimonies of the fathers and their children brought tears to the eyes of those attending, including Jerry.

The missionary recalls that an older woman named Aurora was next. “I apologized to Coral, a dear friend who had counseled and supported Aurora for several years and was responsible for her coming to Christ, for not advising her to bring a change of clothing to join us in the water,” Jerry says. “She responded by taking off her shoes and climbing down the steps fully clothed. Her comments to and about Aurora were choked with emotion that we all shared.”

The party had barely begun.

Two children of a woman who is one of the original church members unexpectedly announced that they also wanted to be baptized. The father doesn’t attend the church, but having seen one woman already make an unplanned trip into the water, Jerry jokingly suggested that the mother join her children to help baptize them.

“At that, she also took off her shoes, and in her Sunday best, down she came,” Jerry says. “With hugs and tears of joy, we both submerged her son and daughter.”

Others began to say that they, too, wanted to be baptized. The mother of the worship team’s leader was one who came forward. The surprised daughter then made her way to the front of the church “and with joyful tears took the microphone to thank God for the fruit of years of prayer for her mother’s salvation,” Jerry says.

The people kept coming. A woman who had given her life to the Lord only days before came forward. In all, a dozen people were baptized, and more wanted to be immersed.

“Before any more people got their only clothes wet, I offered to plan another baptism soon,” Jerry noted, “and for anyone who felt left out, I asked that they let us know their desire to be baptized. “Then I gave the benediction, the sermon not being necessary.”

At least six persons indicated their interest, Jerry says, “so now we have to see when we can plan another fiesta.”

And wait to see what God does with those plans.

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