Monday, April 15, 2013

MIS Partnership: Celebrating in the Sand – Part 2 – The Baptism

The partnership creates collaboration between churches, businesses and this national work located in West Africa. As I mentioned before it has established an area in which there are 400 unreached “M” villages. Partners work together to create friendship and trust and together with village leadership they tackle difficult holistic issues associated with life in the rural interior of Senegal. A Senegalese church planter develops relationships and discipleship starting with village leadership and leads all work. So here is the rest of the story described by Matt Paschall...

Celebrating in the Sand
Fifty-eight Lives Changed  -  The Baptism

Ngor Sarr looked to me like a college football lineman - tall, muscular, barrel chested.  As he approached the front of the church, 300 people whispered, "That guy is a champion wrestler in our town".  He was the next candidate for baptism.  His two year old son followed and bellied himself up onto the concrete platform.  The young father picked up his toddler in his huge arms and started his story.

"I have never been baptized before.  If you would have told me that I would be standing here in front of you like this, I would have told you that you were crazy.  Most of you know that I am a cattle man and in order to protect the animals we have to be strong, carry weapons and wear amulets for spiritual protection."  

Ngor went on to say how his wife had become a Christian and how her life changed.  One day she removed all of the magic fetishes from their children.  "At first, I didn't think it was a good idea.  But I decided to see if Jesus was strong enough to protect my family.  When I saw that He had the power to protect us, I began to trust Him.  Now I stand here today ready to follow Christ and lead my family."

Later when Ngor went into the water for baptism, it took two pastors to submerge him.  When he emerged, there was a huge grin.  He came out dripping wet and then did a spontaneous dance of celebration.  I tried my best to capture the day in this short video. 

This is your investment. This is your joy.

Mark Szymanski

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