Our first believers’ baptism.
Today, Good Friday, we celebrated the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. It was extra exciting because we had our first believers’ baptism. We met together at about 9:00 this morning and most stayed until about 4:00 in the afternoon. The first hour we sang, prayed, and I taught about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Then as a group of believers we all went down to the beach by a small bay in the ocean. The group of Patpatar people already sitting and relaxing on the beach were a bit startled by us coming, but we were glad to see it would be a “public testimony.”
I explained once again to the believers and to those looking on the meaning of baptism. The believers nodded in agreement that it couldn’t help save them but was rather a public testimony of their faith in Christ and of their new standing in God’s clan and a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Still it was difficult for many of them to take the step and be baptized.
You see, baptism is not new here in the Patpatar tribe. In fact, there are many baptisms of many forms and kinds here. And much like ancient days, many of the Patpatar baptisms show allegiance to a group. So there is a lot of pressure from the clans and communities to not be baptized by others.
Nonetheless, today four people were baptized including Avalon, our oldest daughter. Each answered the questions I asked them and gave a testimony of their faith in Jesus. Each one was baptized. Each one could not stop smiling afterwards. They had taken a stand, obeyed God’s command, and had let others know of their faith in the Savior.
Afterwards we all returned to our meeting place and ate a big meal together including a special meat – lamb meat. The next several hours were casually spent with small groups of Patpatar believers sitting around and talking about the “Lamb of God” and talking about His work for them. Oh, and already others are talking about being baptized.
Because He is risen,
Avalon being baptized.