It was the Sunday of the retreat in Las Peñas. The sun was hot, the road dusty. Our whole group made its way down to the river.
Other people swimming or picnicking by the river, turned their head and watched us curiously. We had three baptisms planned:
Her former church had pressured her strongly to get baptized. But she has some mental disabilities, of which she is aware, and was confused and afraid. She didn’t want to do it because she had to, she wanted to do it because she understood it. She spoke at length with Malli (wife of Jaime, church leader), who explained in ways she understood. And now she was ready.
She came to our church already baptized, but she had been very young when it had happened. She asked if she could be rebaptized, now that she understood the purpose and significance of baptism. Since it was a matter that weighed heavily on her conscience, they agreed to the baptism.
He’s young, and came to our church because of his mother. But his interest in the faith was all his own. He wanted to get baptized, but wasn’t sure he was ready to take that step yet. He almost turned back (and we would have waited, because this is a big step), but in the end, he took that step of faith.
And then the leaders turned to the group. “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of your being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). And one more came forward, because nothing was holding him back.
He never professed the Christian faith. He came to the retreat by invitation of one of our members. It’s a relaxed environment, with lots of free time to spend in nature or with friends and family. The services are brief, but clear– come to Jesus and be saved. They reached him, touched him. And he responded.
All of these members of our church family have been attending faithfully, and we could not be happier. We are so glad to see new souls come to Christ, and we love to welcome them. But now begins the next big stage of work– to help them grow in Christ, to give them everything they need to grow strong, and make other disciples.
So the Light spreads and shines. We are thankful because one day, long ago, we saw the Light. And we rejoice because now more people can say, “Praise the Lord, I saw the Light!”