Yesterday morning at our traditional church, I was meeting with 4 new Christians and telling them the stories of John the Baptist’s baptizing, The baptism of Jesus, the command of Jesus to tell the good news about repentance and the forgiveness of sin in his name, and the great commission passage. When we dismissed, an 11-year old boy I will call “W” came to me and told me that he wanted to be baptized too.
I asked him why. He said “It’s the only way. It’s the only way things will change.” I asked him what needed to change. He said. My family is always fighting, everyone. It is horrible. No one cares about anyone and no one is ever happy.
I’d been to his house several times last year, during evangelistic visits. His home is a shack with two rooms, a dirt floor, a tin roof, and 12 beds, stacked like bunk beds. There is no front door, so they put a board up at night. The floor is dirt.
Well, I asked W if he wanted to follow Jesus. He replied that he believes that Jesus is the son of God who was sent to save us, but that he wasn’t sure if he could believe because his family didn’t.
God put Gideon’s story on my heart and so I told it to W, from Judges chapter 6. In the story, Gideon knocks down his father’s Baal alter and cuts down the post-idol and cuts it up for firewood to give a burnt offering to the Lord. The next day the people of the region want to kill him, but Joas, his father had a change of heart and sided with Gideon and sent the people away.
I told W that his faith and obedience to Jesus even when his family is not following Jesus could be just what God uses to call his whole family to repentance. He said I will be baptized and be like Gideon, I will follow Jesus no matter what they say. I hope I can help them follow Jesus too.
We get the baptistery again on April 11th, and plan to baptize 6 more, including W. We’ve baptized 10 in February and 3 in March. Fun to watch God at work.