Yesterday was our “celebration” Sunday at All Nations (more about that in another blog). In short, this means that we sort of invite the entire All Nations family of leadership from the Cape Town area and worship, have some instruction and then have baptisms. This is not a weekly event but more like a monthly event. This was the first “celebration” we have attended since we got here just over 5 weeks ago. Near the end they asked if anyone wanted to be baptized.
We actually had one person with us who has been asking fairly consistently for about a year to be baptized! We wanted to be sure he was ready so we have spoken with him about it at some length. Yesterday when he told us he really wanted to “follow Jesus” we had to recognize that he was ready!
Yes, we are speaking of Asher!
At first his desire to be baptized was based upon admittedly thin foundations. (He wanted to eat the crackers and drink the grape juice!) But we have seen God do some amazing things in his life over the past year and he has repeatedly expressed a sincere desire to follow Jesus in baptism. Yesterday it seemed that the time had come. He was able to express quite clearly why he wanted to be baptized and had a very good understanding (for a 6 year old) of why it was important.
Mark asked Asher why he wanted to be baptized and in front of about 60 onlookers (roughly half of the crowd that showed up yesterday) he said he wanted to “follow Jesus.” He also explained that he wanted to “obey Jesus.” Lastly, upon my explaining the mechanics of how he was going to be baptized, he insisted that Mark dunk him forward rather than backwards. This made us all laugh……but Mark complied.
Mark then led the crowd in a prayer that God would empower Asher with the Holy Spirit and enable him to walk and live as Jesus lived.
Finally we took a family picture together on the day Asher was baptized. It was a beautiful day (surely some of you noticed how ridiculously blue the sky is here?) and it was a great occasion. Another little boy, after having seen Asher get baptized, expressed a desire to be baptized as well (and no, this wasn’t Noah….yet!). There were people from about 20-25 nations present who all have a heart to see Jesus’ love go to the “ends of the earth!” What an amazing group in which to baptize Asher! In fact, we had just prayed and sent out a Malawi couple along with 2 others to go back to Malawi to share the love and forgiveness of Jesus with their native people.