We had not been in Africa for very long when the large church in town decided to have a baptism. After services everyone walked down to the river. Somewhere they had gotten robes for the people who were to be baptized. There were more than 60 people who wanted to be baptized. There were 3 pastors, so they did 3 people at a time. The Brethren baptize 3 times forward instead of the way the Baptists do.....once backwards. Personally, I have been baptized 3 times, 3 ways. I was sprinkled in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church when I was 4 years old, baptized in a Baptist church when I was 11, and baptized in the Brethren Church after I was married. A lot of churches have split over how to baptize. I don't think God cares all that much. I like what one pastor says. "Just bring me a hose, and I'll get you as wet as you want to get." The important thing is that you believe in Jesus and want to follow Him, and baptism is a sign of that commitment.
Most of the people in the church came to watch. The ladies in the blue dresses are members of Ouali ti Tene Ndjoni..........Women of Good News. The people waiting to be baptized took off their robes and just wore their underwear into the water, (except for the pastors.) I guess they didn't want to get the robes wet.
After a person was baptized he or she went to the opposite bank where people waited to sprinkle powder all over them. I'm not sure where that custom came from. I'm sure it didn't come from the missionaries. We hadn't learned Sango yet since we were still studying French. We were upcountry so the service was in Sango. I wonder what happened to those people. I wonder if any of them are still living. Even though we were homesick for America a lot of the time, it was still a great blessing to live and work there for 6 years. We learned a lot, and it changed our lives.
| ||Posted 2/1/2013 9:22 PM - 182 Views - 18 eProps - 12 comments|
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