January 20, 2008

Gna-rly Nachakonet Baptism


A few weeks ago as Jacob met to disciple Thomas and a few others, a wonderful thing happened. Nachakonet is the farthest village Jacob reaches at about 10 miles one way, and one that Georgia doesn’t venture to even tackle. They were all at the edge of the bush, where ‘no-man’s land begins. Tired and hot they began to discuss what baptism means to each of us. Why do we not believe in infant baptism? What is the significance, Biblically, for being ‘buried with Christ’? As they did this, some young men there said that they had never been baptized but wanted to be very badly. They discussed the men’s beliefs and indeed, they had believed but had never had the opportunity. So the date was set.

To complete a baptism out in a village, there’s really one option, a tarp and typically a borehole(water pump). At this village the borehole is near a newly placed barracks. Many of the villagers are frightened of being questioned or worse taken in, beaten, etc. for disarmament (people are frightened regardless of whether or not they have or have ever had a gun), so the people are not using this borehole. Jacob arrived already travel weary with the tarp and to his surprise was led up onto a jagged escarpment with a large crowd of people eagerly awaiting baptism. The leaders from the other story centers had come to help.

At first Jacob wasn’t sure. Where was the water to come from? This place was as dry as a bone and not friendly terrain. That’s when they led him to a hole- dug out perhaps 10 feet down, at its smallest where only a small arm could reach down- and there- this entire village and community was getting all of its drinking water; the final hole small enough for only a small gourd. A huge 50 gallon barrel had been painstakingly filled with this little gourd.

All of the Karimojong leaders led and baptized everyone. It was a time of true celebration. As each person was baptized they were asked a set of questions: Why do you believe in Jesus? Who is Jesus? What was your life like before you believed in Jesus? How has Jesus changed your life? Can you imagine being asked these questions in front of a crowd? Can you imagine baptism being a communal event and one full of happiness, excitement and true joy?

Each person answered confidently and emerged full of joy.

Here is the hole and gourd where all of the water was taken.

Here is the ‘baptismal’- and Jacob seriously vouches that this is the quality of the water before anybody even entered it.
Last but definitely not least- Thomas with his precious family.
Please pray for these believers. They are serious and passionate about ‘being’ a church. Pray that they know how to grow and lift one another up.

Also pray for their basic health needs. They are very far from health care and even there most basic need, water, is a cause of sickness.

1 comment:

marthakaramoja said...

Can you tell us the names of Thomas's wife & family here? We will remember to pray for them!

alotooma Kristo,

Martha

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