Sunday, August 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by Boyznberry
This morning, my friend Kierra came to call me. "There's going to be a baptism in the river today. John wants you to be there."

John Rono has been working in my yard since I've been in Kenya. I had invited him, his brother Emmanuel, and their cousin Eva to attend the Kipkaren Youth Camp this week.

I was thrilled when I heard that he was getting baptized.

Walking down to the river, Kierra and I were chatting about who'll be baptizing the youth. "I'd really, really like to baptize John," I said. "I've known him. I know his walk with God. I know his family. It would be an honor to do his baptism!"

So I asked the pastor, Peter, if I could baptize John. "Sure!" he said with his big smile. "In fact, why don't you just stay in the water and keep baptizing others."

As 250 young men and women gathered at the shore, I noticed Emmanuel also getting in line to be baptized. He and John stepped to the very front of the line, and I got to baptize them both of the young men. Then Pastor Matekwa and I took turns to baptize the others, perhaps 20 or so young people. (Two pastors were also in the water with us, baptizing others.)

John's mom called me later in the day. "I just wanted to thank you," she said. "John and Emmanuel called us to tell us the news. In fact, they had called earlier in the week to talk to us about getting baptized this weekend."

My heart overflowed with joy for these two young men. What a joy to follow Jesus' command to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Youth camp is now wrapping up. The young people are heading back to their villages. Please join me in praying that God will continue the work that he started in each and every life this week.