The sky was overcast, the wind a bit strong, but we continued walking until we reached the sea. We had been to this beach before many times, but today was different. Today, the sea represented new life, healing and restoration. The sea represented all the struggles, the highs and lows of this man’s life, laid at the feet of Jesus.
His wife came to the faith years ago by reading her Bible. They met after her baptism, and she began to share her faith with him. He found Jesus through his wife’s love for him.
His wife is a nurse. He worked as a first responder but was badly injured. Before his injury, they lived well and never struggled financially. After his injury, he struggled with severe pain in his arm and back and numbness in his toes, preventing him from working for many years.
This beautiful couple arrived in Dubrovnik on a Friday evening after a painful (for him) 10-hour drive. “It was worth it, being able to proclaim my faith and love for Jesus,” he said.
Our church back home had purchased personalized Bibles for them, which we gave them before diving into a study on the book of Genes is.
The next morning, a Sabbath, we invited them for breakfast before heading out to the sea. The time had come. We walked out into the cold waters together. He and Gabe kept walking alone until they reached a place in the sea where they could stand firmly. He had asked Gabe to hold him underwater for just a bit longer to let him truly appreciate the moment and his decision. He felt his previous life did not reflect the life he now strives to live.
As he came up from the water, I looked at his beautiful wife with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, waiting to embrace her husband. This was such a joyful moment. We sang songs together and shared all Jesus had done for us.
A few days later, he called Gabe and hesitantly began to tell him what had happened after he came out of the waters of baptism. On his drive home, he did not feel any pain in his back or arm, and feeling returned to his toes. He was able to find a job and once again provide for his family in abundance.
He and Gabe now study the Bible once a week via TikTok live, where anyone can join and ask questions. Fifteen people attended their first 45-minute online Bible study. People continue to visit.
Pray for this couple and their journey in Christ. They would like to someday begin inviting the youth in their neighborhood to study the Bible with them. I believe this is just the beginning of a discipleship-making movement.