The baptism was a joyous event...so exciting to watch these new believers be baptized, professing their faith publicly and rejoicing in the Lord together! My team leader, Ivan, assisted Pastor Farfan with the baptism and we all prayed together in the middle of the river...not too many chances in life to experience such a moving moment!
This first set of pictures show the church members carry plastic chairs across the river for the service, and the pastor and Ivan haring before the group waded into the river. This was my first time to speak to the group and I was very nervous, but just shared that I was so happy to be there and be able to share in this wonderful event with them. I love the picture of the whole group praying before the baptisms began...just touches my heart!!!
After the baptism, we had a time of fellowship and enjoyed some Peruvian food, well the ones I could eat that is...two salads were offered that looked REALLY good, but I wasn't allowed to have fresh veggies because they are washed in the water we can't drink...I was SO happy to have salad and veggies when I got home. Got to taste some purple corn juice that was interesting, similar to grape juice is the closest thing I can compare it to, but the flavor was just different...I don't really know how to describe it. We also celebrated a birthday of one of the young mean by praying and singing for him and then having birthday cake...YUM! Enjoyed some bubble blowing with some of the younger kids and even entertained a stray dog...lol. It was a wonderful afternoon! It was such a blessing to begin to get to know some of the sweet folks from the church and interact with their families!!!
Later in the day on Sunday we went to Pastor Farfan's church to have their church service and I was aked to help lead their praise and worship time with "How Great Thou Art" and "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"...Thankfully I knew them both! I sang with the Pastor and we alternated singing the verses in our native tongues and then singing the choruses together...it was an experience I'll never forget to look out into that congregation and see them worshipping the Lord no matter the language barrier! I was so impressed with the keyboardist for the church and got to serve with him at the mission site later in the week...what a great man of faith he was! I didn't know any of the other songs they sang, but hummed along and clapped the best I could...it was just amazing to be able to worship 3000 miles from home and feel the presence of the Lord!!! We also had a baby dedication for two sweet babies...what a blessing to see these young parents promising to raise their children in a Christian home!
This last picture is taken from the middle of the Chira River, waist deep in water...just taking a moment to realize that God had placed me 3000 miles form home, in a river, taking pictures of a baptism of ten people I'd never met before, who speak a language I don't know and I was so humbled to be there, tears running down my face, in awe of God's creation and His faithfulness in my life...our God is SO big and knows just how to remind us that HE is in control and when we follow His prompting, we will be blessed...sometimes in simple ways, sometimes in big ways...but no matter what - God wants us to know that He is alive and working through His people...we just need to step out in faith and be willing to be used!
I will work on the next day soon...until then, blessings to you and your family! S :)