Thursday, May 31, 2012
Baptisms in the CBI
This evening Cla came to Sokhom and asked him to baptize him. Cla only joined the team of future house church leaders about a month ago-since Sokhom returned to Cambodia from his trip to the states to attend his son's wedding. Cla is the cousin of Chanthy. Chanthy is a three year graduate of CBI who, along with his wife and son Phalika and Daniel, live here and help to run the school. They come from a village where no one is a Christian at all. Chanthy wanted his village to know the joy he had experienced in Christ. It didn't take Cla long living in the house with eighteen brothers to notice that there was something really different about the way this group of young men treat each other and those serving them. They even look at the people outside their small group with different eyes. Then he watched as others came to minister to them. He saw the doctor treating patients, not for personal gain, but to serve the community...even going long distances and donating both his services and his supplies to treat poor people who could never afford traveling to a doctor. He listened in classes as he was taught about God who planned from the beginning for his life here in Cambodia, how He had a plan all the way through the Old Testament that came into fullness with the coming of His son. True submission and total dependance on God for your very life was something he learned as he heard the testimony of Sokhom sharing over and again the multiple ways God saved him from death throughout his life to bring him to the decision to open a school and dedicate his life to teaching young men to multiply the Kingdom through their service in leading others to Christ. Cla heard a young man from Waco, Texas teach about Timothy and his mentor, Paul. Then he experienced the servanthood of that teacher as he stooped to wash Cla's feet. This young man went out with a partner and served the community around him just to reach out and make connections that might later lead to new Christians. He learned to begin sharing the story of this Jesus he heard so much about. All along he was trying to figure out just how he fit into this group. Then he begin studying the scripture himself to teach others the stories of the patriarchs. His presentations and those of his fellow classmates hit home. There was something else he needed to do to make his life right with God. He had seen it in lives around him. He had heard it in sermons. He had discussed it with teachers and with his new friends. Now he took the step to submit to baptism and to put on a new life in Christ by accepting the gift of salvation and the filling of the Holy Spirit as he rose to live a new life for Christ! Along with Cla, Naroth and Rotha also decided to be baptized. A couple years back these two boys had followed the custom of the group with whom they worshipped and had been baptized, but neither one had ever really considered what that meant to him personally. Rotha told how after his baptism he had returned to the worldly things in which he had been involved before. He knew he had not become a Christian at that time. Tonight they knew what they believe. They were certain that they needed to take the step for their own consecration to the Lord they have come to know and love. We welcomed Cla, Rotha and Naroth into the family about 8:30 Thursday evening here in the front schoolyard where earlier they were playing volleyball! Rejoicing here on earth is nothing compared to what is happening this evening in Heaven. It won't be long before these young men will be baptizing others in their home villages who will come to know the Lord they love so dearly.