The Saving factor of Water
Water is a powerful source throughout the world, but here is Pointe Noire it is life-saving. Everyday you see people selling it in little bags along the roads. You see it used to sustain the crops that yield food to eat and incomes for homes and families. You see the bottles of filtered water sold in little markets everywhere for those who have a few more cifa's. But mostly you see the water being "drawn" from "wells" throughout every sector to be used to sustain life.
Water not only "saves" us physically, but also spiritually through the ordinance of Baptism. As we are immersed in the waters of baptism, it represents the end of our old life of sin and a commitment to live a new life as a disciple of Christ. It is an essential ordinance of salvation and Jesus taught that we must be baptized by immersion for the forgiveness of our sins. So we are saved by water!
We have two churches that our "Saints" meet in here in Pointe Noire. This past Saturday was a big day where 6 people were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. To get the Aéroport/Mpaka church ready, we just turn on the water and it flows directly into the font. But, to get the Pointe Noire font ready, we have to fill it by buckets.
Elders Johnston and Wright have great attitudes about filling the font, but this past Saturday, the Zone Leader, Elder Garland and Elder Etherington his companion, plus Elder Bailey, decided to come and help. Elder Bailey had a great idea, of bringing our "coveted" hose and hooking it up to the spout and having that help fill the font.
It was a brilliant idea, except for one factor, we had no power, and therefore no pump to get the water to the spout. So we resorted to "Plan B", which is to "lower the buckets into the well-water, and one by one, pour it into the font.
It started out pretty easy as the "well" was full of water. We just put our buckets in and poured it into the font.
And so the process begins..........
Elder Bailey dipped, while Elder Garland poured
Elder Etherington takes his turn
Ketsia, who leads the singing at the baptisms, came early and she volunteered to help
The ties came off and they got down to serious business.
As the well-water diminished, it became a "labor of love" to reach down and pull the full bucket of water up. Elder Garland was up to the task.
After about 40 minutes the font was almost ready to be baptized in.
Elder Wright, Elder Johnston, Claude and Ulrich prepare for the ordinance. The ward mission leader, Fermes Ngakali, went over everything to make sure we had all information about each candidate correct.
One last check...
You cannot take pictures of the actual ordinance, but this is Elder Wright giving instructions to Claude before he begins.
Elder Johnston and Ulrich
Claude and Elder Wright
At the Aéroport/Mpaka building, Cedric was baptized by Elder Etherington
This is 'Lovely' with her family
This is "Lisa" and her neighbors. She was baptized by her uncle Frére Ndinga.
Wall of Fame
Elder Etherington celebrated his birthday on May 6, and was grateful for the gift of his pillowcase.
This is our new missionary, Elder Tweneboah from Ghana. Elder Hatch and Elder Rakotonindriana will be his "trainers" for two weeks until transfers.
Elder VanAusdal is waiting patiently for his turn to call his mother on Mother's Day.
Sister Bailey is leading the "Children's Choir" in "I Am A Child Of God." They knew every word and loved to sing. All of their parents were in meetings, so this kept them from running through the church. Music and love are the universal languages!
This week we have seen how water "saves" us, both physically and spiritually. We are so grateful to be here on our mission where we are surrounded by wonderful Elders and Saints who are all trying to do their best to keep their covenants they made at the "Waters of Baptism".
Until Next Week.....