On 3 July, four adult members of the worshipping community at St Matthew’s and The Minster were baptised. All spoke movingly about their lives before they met Jesus and how he has worked powerfully in each one of them.
Baptism is a public declaration of a believer’s faith, a demonstration of a commitment to live for God. Going into the water and then being brought out of it is a visible reminder that through baptism we die to our old selves and rise to new life in Jesus and his saving power.
Here, Nok and Aomi share their personal testimonies:
Nok – from anger to amazing grace
“…the words that I initially rejected turned into comfort and released me from anger.”
“I was married and had two daughters. After the divorce, my ex-mother-in-law did not allow me to see my children. I fought in court for five years and although the judge allowed me to visit my children, my ex-mother-in-law never let this happen. My heart was always filled with anger and distress.
“One day my friend, Natalie, invited me to join her in a church service in Tewkesbury. That very day I prayed to accept Jesus as my Saviour, but I didn’t give it all to him because my heart was still full of anger towards my ex-mother-in-law.
“One night, I dreamed that Jesus was knocking at the front door of my house and the next morning, Natalie was outside knocking at my door. I told her that I couldn’t do a Bible study with her because I had a lunch appointment with my children that day. Natalie prayed for me that I would have a good time with the children.
“However, my ex-mother-in-law did not bring the child to meet with me as scheduled and did not answer my phone calls. I waited at the restaurant for an hour. I was so angry and thought that I would go burn their house down. At that moment, a voice in my heart told me to call Natalie. Thank God that Natalie answered the phone. She was about to take a bus home and she rushed to meet me in the restaurant. We prayed together and the words that I initially rejected turned into comfort and released me from anger. Since that day, I intend to study the word of God in our Bible study group.
“God is gracious to me. By his grace, he released me from anger. I decided to receive baptism to follow him.”
Aomi – from despair to disciple
“For the first time, I woke up feeling hopeful.”
“From childhood, I had always been a very religious person. I went to the temple to make merits and thought that I was a good person. But a few years ago, I learnt that my religious practice didn’t help me in my stressful situations. I had to work hard to make a living, took care of two children, and cared for my dying husband. No matter how religious I was, I felt hopeless and helpless. I was overwhelmed by burdens that seemed like the whole world was on my shoulders.
“One day, my friend told me the story of Jesus. I decided to pray to welcome him into my life. For the first time, I woke up feeling hopeful. It was the peace that overflows in my mind. So, I started looking for a Christian called Natalie who I had met many years ago. She once invited me to worship at her church in Tewkesbury. When I found her, I told her that I had accepted Jesus as my Saviour and I wanted to get to know God better.
“We make appointments to pray together and participate in a Bible study group on weekly basis. I am being built to be Christ’s disciple.
“God has led me out of despair and discouragement. He is making me a disciple. And I want to tell all my friends that I love the story of God, so that they find the love and hope that this world cannot give. The only way to that love is through Jesus Christ. I declared my faith through this baptism that I will follow him.”
Baptism and confirmation services are becoming ‘greener’, as for the first time churches are able to invite people who are being baptised and confirmed to make pledges to care for the planet as part of their baptismal vows. Read more here.