Last week we went to the bush to do some Baptismal teachings in two villages and continue our regular story set in the other two. Well things did not go as planned, as usual, and we were able to do only Baptismal teachings in one village and the regular stories in the other two, however in one of those villages, Besatra, we also added an impromptu Baptismal service.
We arrived in the Besatra as normal and gathered a crowd; this time it was larger than it had been lately because "The Grant" had returned from outside of Madagascar and they wanted to see if he had become a regular Vazaha (white man) again or if he was still Mahafaly.
I continued in our church formation story set and did the story of the Macedonian call. The story went ok and with the help of Michel, CEIM pastor in Betioky, they were able to get the story and retell it. Grant then began to speak to the villagers and challenge the believers to step it up more and take on more responsibility. He challenged them to select leaders for the church there and for all to share their faith with those around them. An older, respected man from the east side of the village, who had not been to the story group in a while, began to speak and list off all of these excuses of why it was hard for them to share their faith and to know what to do (sound familiar to anyone?). He said he could go and tell someone about Jesus and share the Bible stories with them, but if they asked him any questions that he would not know how to answer them at all. We told him that it was ok if he did not have all of the answers. Grant reassured him that we would go with him to help him share his faith.
He then threw out the excuse that he had not been baptized yet either. Then Grant asked if there were other believers who had yet to be baptized as well and another older man raised his hand as well. Grant asked if there was water in the watering holes, although he knew there was due to the cyclone hitting three weeks ago, and they said there was plenty of water. So, he asked them if they wanted to be baptized right now and they said yes. The plan was set, they began to discuss where the deepest watering hole was and the two old men scurried home to put on their good clothes. We then made our way with a group of about 30 people, including kids, to the water hole. Michel and Grant talked to each person that was going to be baptized about their faith and then Kalaha, the president of Besatra, baptized the two older men, a younger man, and three girls who were around 10 years old.
Me with the group of men that went.
The whole group that went.
Michel with the two older men that got baptized.
Kalaha going into the water to baptize.
One less excuse to not share his faith.
One of the younger girls getting baptized.
Praise the Lord for what He is doing in Mahafaly Land and pray for boldness in the believers that they may share their faith.