You may remember back in September (2018) I wrote of getting stuck out in a remote village, with a broken-down Toyota 'pro box' and there being a great number of people that wanted to get baptised. Due to a number of factors we were only able to baptise 41 people. Well, this story follows on from there, about a year later. (Read what happened last year for context)
As we wait in Europe for our twins to arrive and our visa to be sorted for Kenya we hear exciting news from our team that is working with the unreached Toposa people in South Sudan. Here is there report.
After a long year, with lots of challenges and difficulties, our team had a breakthrough. The people of Naliel, South Sudan, could hardly wait to be baptised. On the bank of a dirty river, 1130 men and women gathered, excitedly. The rains had filled the once dry and dusty riverbeds. There was now plenty of water to take this next step in their faith - baptism. It took three full days to baptize the people. Full of joy, they sang loudly and clapped to new worship songs they had created and learned. Many took the opportunity to share testimonies of Gods amazing goodness.
As Ekai, a village elder who was about 75 years old, was about to be baptised, he looked towards the crowd and said “I am so grateful to God. It is a great privilege for me to give my life entirely Jesus. I have given all my guilt and shame, everything that I have done wrong in my life to Jesus, and now put my trust in Him. Since my conversion, my life has changed completely. I would like to thank the missionaries; Mark and Julius, for coming to us Toposas. I now have a new hope and confidence. Yes, I am an old man now and do not have much time left ... but this is what is so exciting, I now have eternal life. When I die, I have the certainty of being with JESUS in paradise.” It was all very moving for us to see how much passion and gratitude this once hard man spoke to his own tribal people about his belief in the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ. Ekai then went into the brown muddy water to be baptised.
The submergence of man in the water, what the bible calls baptism, symbolizes the dying and burying of the flesh. The old life has died. The emergence from the water symbolizes the ‘new man’ who rises again with Jesus. This was the most meaningful moment in Ekai’s life. As he came out of the water, you could see what the hope in Jesus was doing in his heart. His testimony touched us all deeply.