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Monday, April 23, 2012

Following Jesus

Last Sunday we had the privilege to experience one of the greatest blessings of ministry.  Two of our children chose to follow the Lord in believer's baptism.  JT, about whom you've read several times on this post, and Dieketseng, who has been part of our ministry for a long time now.  For the purpose of clarification, JT doesn't actually live at The Village.  He came into our lives through an outreach we did at a local high school.  Dieketseng has lived at The Village for about a year now, and we've been actively ministering in her life since she came to live with Brian and Lois Niehoff in 2006.

Before I allow JT and Dieketseng to share in their own words why they wanted to be baptized, I want to make sure everyone knows what we're talking about.  Historically, during Bible times, baptism was practiced in order to publicly identify with someone or with their message.  That is why Jesus' cousin John was baptizing people before Jesus ever began His own public ministry.  Scripture is clear that Jesus alone and His atoning work on the cross merits our access to a righteous standing before God.  Therefore, we don't baptize everyone, because baptizing someone who has never believed doesn't accomplish anything.  Simply put, the act of baptism is a public statement by an individual who has come to Christ for forgiveness of sins, and an identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.  They are testifying before the world that they are a follower of Jesus and intend to continue to walk in Him.  If you'd like to discuss this further, please shoot me an email at lotool@restoringhopeint.org.


Dieketseng first approached me about baptism a few years ago, but we put it off to ensure she knew the serious nature of that decision.  She again brought it to my attention several months back, but we didn't feel she was ready.  Finally, sometime in January this year the evidence seemed to catch up to her desire.

JT had made a profession of salvation in 2008.  We make it a point to educate newly professing believers on the topic of baptism, but I refuse to push anyone toward that decision.  If that profession proves to be genuine, the individual will come to that conclusion through the Holy Spirit prompting.  He'll do a much better job than we ever could.  That prompting came to JT in January this year.  He called me one night to inform me it was time that I baptize him.  I spent almost an hour on the phone with him that night and it was clear he was ready.





I approached Pastor Joshua Bolaji, our pastor at Welkom Baptist Church.  He agreed to hold the service at the church, and based on our relationship with both he asked me to perform the ceremony.  What a privilege!  I've baptized people before, but this is the first time I've been able to baptize someone that came to the Lord under our ministry.  Believe it or not, I made it through the entire thing without shedding a tear.  In fact, I didn't even have that irritating lump in my throat once!

So, without further ado, here are the brief version testimonies of JT and Diekeseng:

Teboho Jakuja:  I always knew there was, there is, and there always will be God, but I just didn’t know who He was.  In 2008 I met Uncle Louie and he told us about Jesus and who He really is.  In our Bible study we learned Romans 10:13 “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. 

We also learned John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name.  I believed and accepted Jesus as my personal Savior on December 31, 2008.  That day I became a new creation.
  
I want to be baptized because the Scripture says that those who believe are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I believe, so I want to be baptized.

Dieketseng Karreebos:  One day we went to Reahola Church.  Pastor Ernest was preaching about the gospel.  There were two twins who were visiting us for awhile from America.  After church we had lunch and we started to have a conversation about what we learned in church.  Then I heard the gospel but I didn’t take it seriously.

So one of the twins asked if we had accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Then she went and prayed with me but I still lived my own life.  Awhile after that Uncle Lou asked if we knew John 3:16.  I didn’t know.  That night I still didn’t understand.  I read it over and over again until I understood what it talked about. 

I received Jesus that day and my life started to change because now Christ lives in my heart.
  
I want to be baptized because I want to obey God and show people that I love Him.









2 comments:

  1. Praise God!!
    That is just amazing! So neat to hear in their own words their desire to follow Jesus in obedience and to see it followed out!

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  2. Praise the Lord! Awesome to see those pictures!!! The beginning of many more for the glory of Christ!

    ReplyDelete