Our school is a mission field, teaching kids from many countries. This is about two of those young people. It is from February 21, 2011.
We had two new births at worship service last night. Ellie and Annie were immersed into Jesus Christ and blessed me by asking if I would be the one to baptize them. Of course, I was thrilled and as always, I got very wet in spite of wearing waders. At least I remembered to remove my tie this time, an oversight during my last baptism. Annie and Ellie (pictured above) are students at Westbury Christian School, natives of Korea, and live with Gracie and John Greer. (Gracie is our WCS Director of Curriculum and John is one of our congregation's elders.) Last year, they were students in my Life of Christ Bible class as sophomores and excelled academically. More importantly, I found out that they are incredibly sweet and kind young ladies. They did not tell me why I was the one they requested to immerse them but I was overjoyed. Maybe in a few years, they'll ask me to preach their weddings, too!
The older I get, the more I realize I took my childhood for granted. When I was ready to become a Christian, I knew my dad, who was our minister, would baptize me. I would guess my father was baptized by my grandfather. From the time I was a baby, my mother and father taught me and my siblings about the Lord and Christianity became as much a language for me as English. As a teacher, I see more and more kids who don't have the blessing of generations of believers as a foundation like I did. There was never any doubt as a boy that the good folks in our church were extended family members; my parents fostered that concept. Kids like Ellie and Annie, living in a foreign land, are entitled to that same sense of kinship from their new brothers and sisters in Christ. Their English is good but my Korean is non-existent. Fortunately, we now speak the common language of Jesus. It's easy to understand.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The dying Jesus is the evidence of God's anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God's love and forgiveness."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org