Bright and early on Sunday, Aug 22, a small group of us gathered down by the ocean in Anse-Rouge for a baptism service. Nine young and older people were baptized.
Most of these dear ones have grown up among us. We have seen them grow in their faith in incredible ways over the years. Many of them are already involved in reaching out to others with the love of Jesus. It was a very precious service. They had so much joy in being able to declare in this way the faith that they already have.
This baptism also held a special significance for us as leadership and as a local group of believers who meet together on the Plateau. Baptism in Haiti is surrounded by a host of misconceptions and man-made rules. In fact, for many years, we made the deliberate decision to delay on holding any baptisms. For one thing, although we have a local group of believers who meet every Sunday for worship and teaching from God's Word, Lemuel is not a church planting ministry with a full-time church leadership structure. Secondly, we felt it necessary to go back to teaching the basic truths of the Gospel FIRST and not forge ahead doing what is typically done and unintentionally perpetuating un-Biblical beliefs.
This past year, we focused a lot of deliberate time and energy into our meetings on Sunday morning, teaching through the pure message of the Gospel and its implications. In addition, Manis met every Sunday morning with the individuals interested in being baptized to be sure they understood what they doing and what they said they believed.
Step by step, by the grace and power of God, we saw people coming to a place of truer understanding. This precious service by the Caribbean Sea was the culmination of all these things. It has been absolutely touching to see the unity and commitment of these ladies (and one guy!) and the overflowing joy they had in being baptized.
PS Bonus: Pastor Delize was the local pastor who baptized some of the group. This morning, I happened upon him at DDL discussing spiritual things with Wasly, who he baptized in the same service above.