Not long after we arrived here at Tenwek, my girls asked me if it would be possible for them to be baptized just below the waterfall in the river not far from the hospital. I asked them to think about it for a few days before we made our final decision. About a week ago, all three sat me down and told me they had made up their mind and wanted me to baptize them in water before we left Africa.
So last Wednesday, we made our way 15 minutes down the rocky path that leads to the river. A few of our friends came with us making the moment even more special by their presence. When we arrived, I talked about how proud Jenn and I are of each of the girls for their decision to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of their lives. Dr. Russ explained how baptism represents the fact that we are cleansed from our sins by the sacrifice of Jesus and that when we are baptized, we leave our “old life” in the water and we are raised to a “new life” in Jesus. We then had a prayer, and the four of us climbed into the cold water as mom and Jack watched and took pictures from the bank.
My usual routine when I baptize someone is to call the person by name and then say, “My brother/sister in Christ, because of your profession of faith in the Lord Jesus, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. I “held it together” until I called each of my daughters “my sister in Christ”. I cried my own river of tears as I realized that my children are not only a part of MY family, but because they trust Jesus as their Savior, they are a part of THE family of God. What a joy it will be for Jenn and I to spend all of eternity in heaven with our children.
As I baptized each of my girls in that cold, African water last Wednesday, I prayed that their baptism would be a constant reminder that there is a world out there that needs to hear and see the love of Jesus. I pray that each of them–in whatever way God calls them–will be a part of going into all the world with the Good News.
From Africa with love,