There are significant events that take place in our lives and we celebrate these moments. For instance, we have birthday parties with cake and ice cream to celebrate when we came into this world. We may go out to dinner at a special restaurant to commemorate our wedding anniversary. These are pivotal moments in our lives. The way we celebrate our acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Savior, the day that we stepped out of the darkness and into His marvelous light, is when we are baptized. This is the day we celebrate our new heavenly citizenship. This is the day we answered the call of Christ with, “Yes.”
I may not remember my natural birth, but I do like to celebrate it! I can remember the day I was baptized. I made the decision to accept Jesus Christ and the outward expression of that inward change is to ask to be baptized. I grew up in a large Southern Baptist church. At 10 years old, making the step out of my seat, down the aisle and to the front of the church to ask to be baptized was the scariest thing I had ever done in my life!
The most significant baptism took place in the Jordan River. John the Baptist is there calling people into repentance and performing water baptism for those who chose to repent. Jesus arrives and wants John to baptize Him. Can you imagine? John knows who Jesus is…he has been the voice in the desert preparing the way for Him. John is humbled by this request and admits he isn’t worthy to carry Jesus’ sandals. However, John honors the request and baptizes Jesus.
Now imagine, you are a new believer in a country that discourages or forbids Christianity. How do you publicly show that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? I have seen pictures of some creative ways of how our church planters provide the opportunity for their new brothers and sisters in Christ to participate in water baptism.
In July, the founder and co-founder of Crossover Global had the incredible opportunity to baptize new believers in Central Asia. This country used to be on the list of most persecuted countries in the world. Jesus Christ changes people, communities, cities, and countries!
In N. Africa, a woman, who is a believer but had not been baptized, found out she had cancer and came to our church planter for prayer. She asked to be baptized as soon as possible due to her uncertain future due to her health. Our dear brother was able to baptize her in the sea.
Back in Central Asia, there were 3 people baptized who are a part of an UUPG (unengaged, unreached people group). Crossover Global’s teammates are able to share the gospel, which is helping to lower the percentage of peoples who have not yet heard the gospel!
Finally, in a closed country where even their own citizens don’t have the freedom to come and go, the gospel is still being preached and changing lives.