Saturday, November 23, 2013

Victories on the Banks of Lake Itzá

Last month we had a special baptismal service down on the banks of Lake Itzá. It has taken me so long to post about it because that day was pretty difficult and I didn't even want to go back and look at photos. There was lots going on afterwards, so Jimmy and I didn't even get a chance to process the day's events together. The service was a huge victory, so that is what I am trying to remember in my mind and block out all of the other junk that Satan sent our way. 

Once Jimmy and I did sit down and talk we realized that the last baptismal service was a personally discouraging day for us too. I honestly believe that Satan tries to rob us of the joy of experiencing the blessing and significance of these special days where people we have worked with for so long want to boldly declare their faith in Christ. There is so much spiritual warfare that takes place it is exhausting! 

I won't share all the ickiness of the events just because I truly don't want to relive them in my mind, but what got everything going in a negative direction was the bus situation. This was the only thing that effected anyone other than Jimmy and I, so for that I am thankful. We rented a school bus from the man we usually rent micros from to pick people up for church. (We have been sending a school bus each week to SR instead of a micro because so many people are coming... blessing!) 
{This was taken when just SR was on the bus and the tense situation was happening outside}
He went to SR first. Jimmy had already communicated with the church that there wasn't going to be a lot of room on the bus, so this day was for our church family only and personal family members of those being baptized. In other words it wasn't an outreach event that they were to invite visitors too... there just wasn't space. Plus Jimmy was going to buy pizza for everyone afterwards. Juan went with the bus to SR and like Jimmy had asked him to, he made sure only our church people got on the bus. The problem is that once people found out that there was a free ride to the "beach", people in the community who are vocally against our church started getting on the bus. Juan did his best and was very polite, but some people refused to get off. So by the time it got to San Pancho to pick up the SP people and the NH people, it was already standing room only. 

What do you do? Unfortunately it was awkward, but we couldn't leave our faithful people behind because of destructive freeloaders. (These aren't visitors, they weren't going to be a part of our service, they actively tried to destroy our Bible study in SR.) Jimmy asked them to get off the bus and then we waited and waited for people to start moving. Well eventually they did and then after making a bunch of threats to us, one got back on and made a big speech about how horrible Jimmy was and wanted everyone on the bus to leave with her... nobody did! There was one casualty though. While this tense situation was happening, one lady who had been once before left quietly without us realizing, I think because she thought we were asking her to leave since she wasn't a regular, but we weren't. Anyway, I'm not sure where she lives, but if you could pray that I find her so I can invite her back. The whole situation did probably make our people feel more united and identified as our church, but that is not how we wanted to do it. Ugggh! Ok, I never want to think on this incident again! 
We sang all the way to the lake and once we got there it was a beautiful day by the water!
 We had a time of worship and prayer. We prayed for those being baptized that day specifically. 
 Saturnino wanted to be baptized that day too! Jimmy helped him into the water.
 There are so many stories here in this group! T and his daughter K were baptized that day! Jimmy led them to the Lord a couple weeks ago at the institute. I am so thankful for them. I want to share more of this family's testimony later. I just love being around them! His wife, Y, is one of the nicest, most hilarious people you could ever meet. She always make me smile! 
Do you see the rainbow God gave us?! He was with us!
 This is O, Marcos' son.
 Lico's kids were baptized that day too, L and P. There are several kids now that live in a communist communities where they have tried to keep God out. Well now there are many kids from those communities whose testimony will be, "I grew up in church." What a different world view they will have! They have Hope! 
 8 people were baptized that day: S, A, P, L, T, K, O, and Saturnino. We are so thankful for all of them and what God is doing in their lives. Please pray for them!
 The victories are what I want to take with me from this day! 

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