Monday, August 17, 2009

Rachel's Baptism

First of all let me apologize for the lack of updates... our internet server went down for 21 days ~ not fun.  I will be posting more pictures and stories from camp soon.  Also pictures from sweet Caleb's 6th birthday party.  But a very joyous occasion took place yesterday ~ Rachel was baptized!  It was so special.. and yes I cried :)   As your children get older you realize more and more all the mistakes you've made and just how much grace God has poured out.   Rachel knows and loves Jesus, could we ask for anything more as parents?!  

It was very cold here last week, down in the 30's at night and let me tell you that water was freezing cold!  It reminded me of the picture our friend Nicolai had of baptizing a man in the dead of winter and they had cut out a 5 foot hole in the frozen ice... Americans and their cozy heated baptistries.  ::wink::

God gave us such a beautiful day and it was truly a celebration of God's goodness.  Here's a video clip ~ please excuse the background noise.. Rachel was the last one to be baptized and poor Johanna decided to lay down in my lap just as I was really needing to videotape.  Here's a rough translation of what James is saying:

J: Do you believe that Jesus Christ has forgiven your sins?
R: I believe

J: Do you promise to serve him with a pure conscience?
R: I promise

I baptize you my sister in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

Buried with Christ in his death, and raised to a new life.

Here is the group that was baptized.  From left to right:
Emelina ~ 18 year old that repented two years ago at camp
Anya ~ repented at camp last year
Svieta ~ a lady from a small village church two hours away.  Her Pastor Andrei is standing beside James. 
Vitaly ~ 16 year old repented at camp last year
Sergei ~ Svieta's husband from Pastor Andrei's church
Genady ~ repented at camp this year.  Very interesting young man.. he just moved to Russia after living in Israel the past 6 years.  When James first met him he said 'I'm a Ukrainian Jew.. do you know what that is??  It's a person that speaks Hebrew and loves salla.'   Salla is sliced pork fat (picture a big slab of bacon but no pink part.. all white)  For some reason that struck me as very funny.  Genady had been going to a Jews for Jesus Bible study for the past 3 months in Moscow.  So neat to see God at work in his life.

After the baptism we had a wonderful picnic with hot delicious plov (rice and meat) made by a dear friend from Moldova.  Lots of homemade cookies and treats, watermelon and much fun, laughter and celebration.  
And here is just some further proof that it is impossible for us to take a decent family picture, but that's okay! :)  What a wonderful day rejoicing!!


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