“Well, Irene, we finally did it! We finally got to one of those river baptisms we always wanted to watch.” This was what came to mind Sunday when my stepdad and I went to a river baptism, something Irene and I had been trying to do for years. She’s been gone 10 months, but would’ve loved it. She would’ve gotten in the water with them. Or she would’ve loved to watch our local church baptize 32 people in that river.
It would’ve started with parking and walking.
If you look in the 2nd row, 7 cars down, on the other side of the red truck, that was me and Bobby! When we saw this picture being taken, we were (from your view) on the far right just under the trees, sharing a picnic table with a lovingly family of 6 from Africa. After we had parked, we had a good walk, a rough walk. For those of you who do not know, I have disease and damage all over my spine, and struggle with feet and leg problems as well. Last fall, I was barely walking, unable to lay down or sit back, or move my neck, After a lot of physical therapy, nerve blocks, and medicines, I am at least able to walk better and stand, but for limited times and limited situations. My stepdad had a stroke in April of 2015, and while he is recovered, he too is limited with walking, standing, and struggles with breathing. But the Lord provided a chance to see 32 people “buried in His likeness, and risen in His newness of life.” WE did not want to miss it.
We walked around to look at the river, saw people along the banks, some which eventually went into a huddle with the Pastor, stood for about 45 minutes, and then we heard them offering hotdogs. Bobby and I got in line, speaking to several faces we knew and meeting new ones. We got our dogs and a water, then spotted a good friend who offered us to share his table with him, his wife and 4 kids. It was so awesome to hear them speaking their African language to each other as a family, even the littlest ones. The mom had one of the black shirts on that said All In, which meant she was going in.
When it was time, the crowds were so long and everywhere along the river. Bobby and I were struggling just to walk, and hang on to see the ones we came to watch. The picture just above is a friend of my deceased brother. He was baptized, then allowed to stand with his daughter as she was baptized, and was offered to help lean her back. My brother would have loved this.
Below you will see 2 pictures with 2 children: the 1st when they were small. They use say hey to Bobby at church when we met them. The 2nd picture is them now. Bobby wanted to see the brother baptized. The older sister told us her best friend was also being baptized, and that the Pastor was letting her help baptize her brother and best friend.
We did not get to SEE any of the baptisms literally in the water (we praise God for those who took pictures), but we did hear the cheers each time someone was baptized, and all of heaven was cheering with us! We got to congratulate people as they came up the river bank. It was a struggle to walk back to the car, but the whole day was worth it! We are not the least bit discouraged for next time. We are better aware… be prepared with portable chairs and a camera! Praise God for the day He gave us… and all those baptized.
Oh and thank you to everyone who gave permission to use the pictures! God loves you!