Baptismal Fruits

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Thirty-one people have chosen to start a new life with God.

God’s work among the Gouandé, Tetonga and Tanguieta groups had prospered, and over a couple of days, our group drained and cleaned the cement fish pond at the project and added clean water to prepare for the baptism. The rainy season has not yet started, so the streams and rivers have little water. With the groups living further away and in different directions, it was easier for the pastor to bring him to the project to baptize everyone from the different villages.

That morning, Fidel drove the pickup truck to Gouandé, a good hour and a half away, to pick up that group’s candidates. After dropping them off, Fidel went to the turn-off for the other village about 15 miles away and loaded up everyone who had made it out to the highway — actually, a road so full of holes that it is usually better to drive in the ditch. While he was bringing them, I left the town where I stay, picked up the pastor who had come up from another town four hours away and arrived at the house about the same time as Fidel.

Once we confirmed everyone who had chosen baptism had arrived, the pastor gathered those candidates and talked to them about Christian living, ensuring everyone was clear about their commitment to their new walk with God. We then sang together in their language before grabbing a couple of wooden chairs to serve as a ladder and heading a short distance to the fish pond, where we put one chair on the outside and another on the inside.

As the pastor climbed into the pond and began baptizing, a swarm of bees buzzed around our feet, delightedly (I would think) drinking water from the leaking pond outlet. The bees did not bother us, and we had no desire to bother them.

In between the candidates climbing in and out of the pond, we French speakers sang hymns. I took pictures while Basile captured the event on video. Once everyone was baptized, we memorialized the occasion by taking photos with the evangelist and pastor.

Soon members of the Tanguieta group (four miles away) arrived with the food they had cooked for everyone. Meanwhile, it continued getting hotter. Two ladies and I went inside the house to discuss the Adventurers Club and Sabbath school. It was so hot and humid that we were wetter than if we had just gotten out of the shower and fled outside to cool off. After eating, Fidel and I gathered our groups to take them home.

We praise God for His graces in the day’s baptisms and for traveling mercies for all. Thank you for supporting God’s work at the Pendjari project.