Tuesday, May 19

River Baptism

Baptisms here are a really big deal! Our church was invited on Sunday to attend a baptism at our sister church in Compuertas, which is a small town near Los Mochis -- about an hour and a half away. Several believers had come forward to be baptized. Yeah!!!

Early Sunday morning, we piled people, chairs, ice chests and of course lots of food -- it was a picnic, afterall -- into our van, Pastor's station wagon and Braulio's car and headed for Calvary Chapel Compuertas.

Along the way, we were pulled over by a federal police officer. He just asked where we were from and where we were headed and then sent us on our way. We figured that he was making sure we weren't kidnapping American kids, since the van was full of Mexicans with a bunch of little white kids peeking out the back window. Ricardo and Braulio got a chuckle out of it. Anyway, we arrived at the church without further incident and then took off for the river which was a few miles north.

As we turned off the highway, we saw this mountain. It's hard to see in the picture, but it says, "Jesus te ama" -- Jesus loves you!

Here are some photos of our very full day...

Pastor Israel shared a message explaining the importance and significance of baptism.

The youth shared a skit depicting the things which stand in the way of our coming to Christ and His ability to overcome those things.

We took some time to pray for the 12 people who were to be baptized.

Pastor Israel talked a few moments with each person. While the baptisms were going on in the water, on the shore folks were singing and clapping.

This is Adrian. He's a phenomenal guitarist. Notice anything about his guitar? I didn't realize it until we got home and were talking about his amazing gift...the guitar's upside down. Adrian is left-handed and plays the guitar flipped over. And I was impressed before!

As soon as the baptism was over, the kids ran for the water. We had a huge group -- well over 100 people -- and pretty much had the river to ourselves most of the afternoon. We had grabbed the spot where an old rope swing dangled over the water. After we determined that there were no submerged rocks or logs and that the water was deep enough, the swing became the focal point of the kids' time.

Armida almost went off the rope swing. Just as she was about to jump, her foot slipped a bit and she said, "No puedo!"

Of course not everyone was really into the rope swing. Some people just splashed in the shallows, some played with the volleyball and everyone ate...a lot!

We headed home in the late afternoon -- tired and a bit sunburned, but praising God for a fantastic day and a great time of fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters from Compuertas!

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