Awhile ago, three of the guys in the bakery/discipleship program made decisions to follow Christ with their lives (Richemond, Wilson, and Manno). As a result, they wanted to get baptized.
Moise and I started looking around to find a place where we could do a baptism. Moise is the Bible teacher I work with.
In the churches I have visited here in Haiti, I have never seen a baptisimal inside the church building, like is common in the States. I think they usually do it at a river or such.
Moise knew about a park that had just such a river running through it with a pool where he told me baptisms are frequently done. We went and visited it during a weekday, and it seemed like an ideal location. There was hardly anyone there and it was quaint and peaceful. The park even had a short walking trail we looked at. Voodoo paraphernalia was littered about said trail and stuck on the trees, which took away from some of the ambience. Moise told me that at night the park was sometimes used for voodoo ceremonies.
Finally the scheduled day came. Yesterday (Saturday) a group of us went out to do the baptism. I was surprised when we arrived and the place was packed out. It was a lot more of the happening place on Saturday afternoon than a weekday morning.
Nevertheless, we all gathered in a circle and had a brief service by the side of the pool. We prayed over the guys and each of the three guys shared a few words of why they wanted to be baptized.
Then Moise and the first person got in the water. Imagine doing a baptism at a public swimming pool on a Saturday afternoon in July. That’s kind of what the scene reminded me of.
As Moise was getting ready to baptize the first guy, a rowdy fellow did a cannonball almost on top of him! But soon some bystanders spoke up and told those being disruptive to stop and be respectful as we were doing something serious here. By the time of the third baptism, many people at the pool had paused from their activities (swimming, bathing) and were watching us.
So it turned out OK afterall. Baptism is supposed to be public, and this one was very public. Everyone in the picture below was a bystander and you can see we have their attention!
Please be in prayer for Wilson, Manno, and Richemond as they walk with the Lord. Mesi!