Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: Refreshment for the Soul
By Judy Watters
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The two toiled day and night to bring the shambled house and barn back to life. They had 4 children and lived through the trials and joys of marriage on that farm for 42 years. We attended a small country church where we heard about being good and doing good deeds. Daddy had grown up in a Jewish orphanage in New York and strongly held onto that belief. However, Daddy went to Momís church every Sunday so as to keep the family together.
Daddy died in 1982, and mom was left to take care of the farm for the next six years. By this time, all four children were grown and not planning to return to the farm except for short vacations. After much thought, Mom decided that she did not want to wait day after day for someone to come visit her. The farm was too much to care for by herself. So she left the farm and moved to Texas to live with her oldest daughter and her family. My sister had become a born again Christian when she married and moved with her husband to San Antonio, Texas. The Baptist church that Virginiaís family attended seemed strange to Mom at first, but the people were warm and friendly. The message that was given every Sunday of a loving God who gave His only son to die for her sins was a real eye opener. Mom, at the age of 68, accepted Jesus as her Savior and was baptized immediately.
Five years later, Mom heard that some of the people from the church were planning a trip to Israel. She was so excited and insisted that her two daughters accompany her on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see her Saviorís earthly home. We caught the joyous mood from Mom and packed our bags. Excitement mounted, as we talked day and night of the upcoming adventure.
However, as flights have a way of not following schedules, we missed our connections, and our bags did not catch up with us until four days into the trip. The land of Israel was so beautiful that we were determined that traveling and sleeping in the same clothes was not going to put a damper on our awe and wonder of the place. But then we did not bargain for the twist of events that Mom threw at us.
When we got to the Jordan River, the pastor with whom we were traveling gave a truly inspiring message. He spoke of how this could have been the exact spot where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, because it was a place of much water (fast flowing). A spark of genius went off in Mom. She askedÖno, she insisted, that my sister and I join her in being baptized again, but this time in the cold waters of the Jordan River. We gently reminded Mom that we had no other clothes to put on after the baptism, and besides that, it was the month of March, and it was very cold. Mom was not to be misunderstood. We were going to be baptized.
Apparently this location along the Jordan was a popular place for baptisms. There was a changing place with white gowns to wear into the water. We changed quickly tiptoeing on the ice cold concrete from the changing room to the water. Mom went in quickly, then Virginia, and finally me. Even though this was our second time to be baptized, it was different. As each of us was brought up out of the water, we realized once again that we were truly new beings in Christ. The cold refreshing water took away all our moaning and groaning of trivial matters, such as lost clothes or numb toes. We were once again reminded that we were truly Godís children and we belonged to Him forever.
What a wonderful remembrance that I will always cherish. A time when I shared my soul and my new life with my sister and Mom in the land where Jesus walked.
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