Candidates preparing for baptism undergo an interview process conducted by a group of elders along with Kent and me. Each person requesting baptism is asked a variety of questions and given possible scenarios that could happen in their Christian walk. They are asked how they think they would respond. In this manner, we assess their understanding and level of commitment.
One day we were interviewing Mitil, a dear friend with whom I have been studying for years. Her husband Abew, who attends her studies off-and-on, was listening in and occasionally offering his own answers. Abew is fairly simple-minded and always trying to please. He has some idea of what he “should” say, but he isn’t convincing. At one point in the discussion, he was talking as if he, too, was going to be baptized with his wife, and we had to gently let him know that he needed to wait until he was ready to make a full commitment to Christ.
The day of Mitil’s baptism was beautiful, and Abew very happy for her. However, the following Sabbath when she returned home from church, he held a machete to her throat and threatened to kill her because she had gone to church! Mitil said, “Go ahead, but I’m going to keep attending church. I have committed myself to God, and I’m following Him.”
Abew switched strategies. “If you continue to go to church, I will kill myself!”
“Go ahead,” said his eldest son, also a believer. With that, Abew put down the machete and guiltily shuffled away.
The next Sabbath, Abew repeated his threats. From then on, someone from the church would always accompany Mitil to and from the Sabbath service.
When Kent visited Abew about the situation, Abew said, “I don’t know why I do these things!” Kent explained it was because he had not yet made a full commitment to Christ, so the devil, whom he served as a witchdoctor, still had a hold on him.
Please pray that Abew will make a full commitment and be released from Satan’s grasp. Pray that Mitil will have courage to continue following Christ and fellowshipping with His church.