Monday, December 15, 2008

Shall We Gather at the River

Yesterday, December 14, 2008, we had the honor and privilege to baptize five new believers. This is a very important, and for many, a very difficult step of obedience in a new believers life of faith.

The journey to the river is always a joyous ocassion. We left the church in Ochomogo at 7 a.m. and made the hour and a half-long trip by bus to the river above the town of Cachi. It is a beautiful place in the clouds above the Orosi Valley. A few hundred feet from the pool we use is a rustic cabin that we rent for the services. It is tranquil and pleasant there. We want to share some photos of the day with you.

On reaching the cabin, Samuel opened the service with a greeting to all that had come to join the celebration of this special time.

The Scripture reading followed and was taken from Matthew 3:1-17. This passage speaks of the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Bro. William, the head deacon of the church, brought a wonderful message about baptism and what it symbolizes in the life of a Christian.

After the message, those who were to be baptized came forward and Samuel spoke to them briefly about what following Christ in baptism meant to each of them personally. Afterwards, we all gathered around them to pray for them and their obedient walk with Christ.

Together we walked upstream to the pool where we baptize. The pool was clear and the water was brisk. This photo was taken from the ledge above the pool.

Another photo of the pool. This one was taken below the ledge and downstream.

Doña Oliva wept with joy as she was baptized. She is a cancer survivor and has no doubt of the miracle God performed in her life.

Xiomara was the youngest of those baptized. She is 13. Her mother and older sister were also baptized.

Doña Maria Elena is a very special friend to us. Almost from the beginning of our ministry here in Costa Rica, she opened her home to us for Bible study, for the ladies outreach, for the July puppet-VBS ministry. She has listened to the gospel of Jesus Christ for over 6 years, and a few months ago she came forward for salvation. This was a joyous day for us and for her as well. Both of her daughters , Xiomara and Catalina, were baptized as well.

Catalina, Xiomara´s older sister and Doña Maria Elena´s daughter, was also baptized. Samuel had the privilege of conducting her wedding just a few weeks ago. We are praying that her husband will soon be making a decision for Christ.

Don Maximillan (Max) was baptized as well. He is Doña Oliva´s fiance and they hope to be married soon. They wanted Jesus in their lives before saying their wedding vows to one another.
We ask that you would keep these five in your prayers as they begin their new lives in obedience to Christ.

We want to share a few more photos with you.

The small fall below the pool.

A close-up shot of the fall.

Looking downstream from the pool.

Downstream from the pool, at the stream´s edge. Everything is lush and green.

Clouds rolling over the mountaintops and into the valleys.

The waterfall at the head of the valley as seen from the cabin.

This couple are very special people, Don Fernando Chinchilla and his wife, Doña Mayela. They own the cabin where we have the services before walking up to the pool, and where we have lunch and fellowship after the baptism. Doña Mayela had a huge pot of hot coffee waiting for us when we returned from the pool. They both accepted Christ 4 years ago and are faithful witnesses of how He can change lives. Pray for them. Doña Mayela has been battling cancer and Don Fernando has lost a leg. Despite the hardships they are and have suffered, they joyously proclaim that it is all to God´s glory.
Blessings to you all.


The Khaje Khronicles said...

Praise the Lord! It's a joy to see the ministry growing!

Amrita said...

God be praised. There is rejoicing in heaven too

~.~ Sailor, Queen and Our Little One ~.~ said...

What a blessing!! It must have been a beautiful baptizum.