We had another fantastic day of ministry today. I was able to enjoy two unique experiences on this first day of 2014. The first new life experience of the day was a visit to an orphanage. There were 40 children, from toddlers to young adults, under the supervision of Maria, a loving and selfless leader. We gave all of the kids a Christmas gift bag filled with toys, clothes, and hygiene items. All of the children were exited to see what was in their bag. We also provided some rotisserie chickens, rice, and salads for lunch. The kids stopped us before we left to sing a song about 1 Corinthians 15:58.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Cor 15:58
The second new experience for me today was a public, open-water baptism. I had the privilege and joy of watching 8 Dominican teenagers be baptized in the ocean on a crowded beach. Ryan began the service by sharing a short message on the purpose of baptism. We sang a few praise songs while the soon to be baptized youth sat on the beach before us, and then one by one they made their way to the ocean to be submerged. Bystanders were looking on in amazement. This was a public profession of faith like I had never seen before. I was struck by the courage and commitment that these youth showed. These kids helped convict me of my lack of boldness and courage. God, grant me a boldness like I witnessed today.