Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Encuentro Sunday

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today was a beautiful day for an outdoor church service. About 50 of us gathered at Eginio’s field this morning. The ladies began chopping food for the soup and the men set up tables and chairs. When lunch was cooking over the fire and the mandioca was peeled, we gathered in a big circle as Pedro gave the welcome. We sang several songs and then Pedro began to share about baptism. People here seem to think that they have to have everything perfect in their life before they can be baptized. One man told Jeff, “Once I become baptized I cannot mess up any more because if I do it will make the whole group look bad.” Some else told Jeff that they felt they needed to become a saint before they could be baptized. That public profession of Jesus Christ is enough to alienate them from friends and family. That is the town gossip for the weeks to come. To the believers, baptism is something to be taken very seriously.

Today we had the joy of seeing Nilsa baptized. She is my house help and one of my good friends. She gave her life to Christ two years ago at a youth camp. She had thought about baptism but was waiting to be perfect. Jeff explained the act of baptism in a way that she understood for the first time and she excitedly announced her decision last week. In her testimony she encouraged others to do the same because Jesus changes lives. Because we baptism in the animal's water tough, the believers clean it out early in the morning. When we have to have the baptism early on so the animals can drink again.

Around 11 we gathered again in a circle and listened to the Christmas Story. At noon we quickly ate lunch since it was threatening to storm. The thunder was music to our hears since it hasn’t rained in 5 ½ weeks. It has been super hot and everything it so dry. Our dirt roads pour dust into the house and I have to sweep my floors 3 or 4 times a day. Some of my friends have abandoned their vegetable gardens because the plants cannot grow. Just as we were driving home at 2:00 the sky broke loose with refreshing drops.

Lunch prep

Singing praises to Jesus in Guarani

Our future leaders!

Baptism in a cattle trough

Nilsa's baptism

Fellowship and drinking terere go hand and hand

Lunch time!

co 2008 Amy McKissick


Sarah said...

How neat for you Amy! I love the pictures and descriptions of the baptism. Isn't it neat that a symbol of new life can be found even in an animal trough? I also love your pics of Ginny's birthday. I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Max said...

Please share with Nilsa that we are rejoicing with the angels and with her as she has taken the step of baptism. Was special to see the other Paraguayan believers participating in the baptism too.
Love ya'll.