by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
Baptism is a huge step for a former-M*slim. Not only does it publically declare their allegiance to Jesus Christ, but it breaks a barrier that has been ingrained in them from childhood. They are taught that if they go under water for baptism they will come out with a mark on their back that condemns them to eternal hell. It takes a brave man or woman to walk against the flow of their community by coming to Christ and to set aside entrenched teaching that for years held them in fear.
The missionaries have only been working for three months and already twenty interested men and women came to the training center for more in-depth teaching. At the end of the five days, 17 of the 20 made the hard, yet exciting, decision to become baptized. The other three said they needed more time and wanted to study a little more before taking such a drastic step. They were affirmed in their desire for more time, and the missionary of their village will continue his friendship and be available to answer questions.
Amidst rejoicing, seventeen new names were written in the Lambs Book of Life. For me there is nothing on earth that brings such satisfaction. Especially when I hear their stories!
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Tomorrow: Stories of New Life
photos courtesy of Donny Cosse