Claire says she is full of happiness, sure she did the right thing and secure following her baptism today. She says it feels like the beginning of a long adventure. She is excited to belong to Jesus forever and is bouncing with happiness right now!
This morning, a large group gathered at a pool at a school in our area (we had received permission to hold the baptism there today). Our friends from Bang Bo came with a group to be baptized. Lan (our Lao believer friend) brought some friends to baptize also. One of the men comes from a village that neighbors Lan’s own in Laos and his family are believers. Lan worshiped with them in their village and then got in touch with him since he came to Bangkok (he lives quite a ways from us without Christian fellowship). So he asked Lan for baptism and one of his other friends wanted to be baptized too. There were people from Laos, Thailand, America, and China, and Nicaragua all in our meeting today!
We sat in a shelter together and some of the believers (Lan, Utai, and Mae Kuhn) shared with everyone about the meaning of baptism. Dan shared a meditation and encouragement for Claire in English and then each person to be baptized shared their testimony followed by a round of applause. Claire was nervous but she did a good job. I’m adding her testimony at the end of this post. I think many of us felt humbled and encouraged by all the testimonies of faith.
When we went to the pool we ran into problems. They were unwilling to let us do the baptism without dressing in particular swim suits which they did not have to rent or buy. The impression of the Thai believers was that they did not really want us to hold a religious ceremony at their pool even though they had agreed to it earlier.
So, the whole bunch of us headed to the nearby Chao Phraya River to give that a try. That location also didn’t work out. The group in Bang Bo needed to return home at that point, so we made plans to meet up with them for their baptism next weekend in Bang Bo and the rest of the group headed to another public pool in the area (on the top of a shopping center). This time, we just went for it, no questions asked! We found a semi private area near the back. Tom and Lan asked the baptismal questions (this is when I started getting teary!). Claire was very confident and clear in her answers. I WILL! I DO!
Tom and I had the privilege of baptizing our girl in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! It was such a blessing to do and she was so happy when she came out of that water!
Lan and Tom baptized the other two Lao men and how wonderful to see Lan (who was baptized at our house last May), already baptizing others!
We are praising God and so thankful tonight for salvation, and Jesus’s love, and his great plans for Claire’s life. We love you, girl!
By Claire Mast
I have known the Lord for my whole life but just recently, I have felt like God has started to reveal himself to me more. Before, he seemed far away. I believed in him and could pray to him but He wasn’t close to me in my everyday life. Then he became closer to me and at first I felt rebellion. At first when this started to happen, I was very confused. I put myself under a lot of pressure and let my heart and mind get worried. I felt overwhelmed and I didn’t want to change. I needed Jesus a lot.
When God started to show himself to me, it was amazing. I felt like God had become so much closer to me, in all parts of my life. I see and believe now that God wants his children to be free and happy in him. I also believe that God wants us to be peaceful. I feel like it is very important to live my life for God wholeheartedly. When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I try to think about is if there is anything between me and God. Then I just look out the window and worship for a few minutes before I get out of bed. It gives me more energy and happiness to start the day than if I just jump out of bed without giving Jesus a thought. I feel like following Jesus’ commands has a real effect in my life. Some days I feel like my life is focused on God and I feel like my day was lived for him and worth living because it was lived for Jesus. I feel so peaceful and happy when I lived a day for Jesus. Other days, when I don’t watch my ways and come to God and pray, then at the end of the day, I feel like my day was full of problems- I feel lazy living for myself and have more problems with arguments and I feel like I didn’t live for Jesus and make it worth- while. At the end of the day, I lay in bed and pray and think about what my day was like. On a Jesus-Day I still feel fresh at the end of the day and I feel contented and my heart is carefree. I want to keep my mind pure and keep respect for God in my heart. He is my rock and my savior. My love for him has changed a lot- it’s gotten bigger, become more powerful.
Recently God showed me that our human hearts are like birds fleeing from him at the slightest trouble or worry, just like birds flee from humans at the slightest sound or movement. To me this means that we shouldn’t run from Him so easily and that we should bring our hearts to him every day, talking to him, even when our troubles seem very big. I really love to think about God’s love and mercy especially when I’m feeling guilty. It’s so unending and amazing.
I really want my heart’s first goal to be: being close to Jesus. I want to want to be excited about our times together. I love feeling refreshed and feeling his love. It gives me strength to be his child. I really want to love him more, letting him settle in my heart.
I believe that Jesus is God’s son and that he came to earth because he loved us. I believe that Jesus died for our sins. I believe that Jesus love forever and always. I want to be baptized today because I love Jesus and I’ve been experiencing him and I want to accept his love. I want to be his child. I want to follow Jesus with a willing heart for my whole life, no turning back!