As a church community, we were able to celebrate as hundreds of people choose to be baptized.
Here are some of their stories:
I brought my family to the 11am service. I actually conned them a little, by asking them to come because I was on stage, singing in the choir. My dad was not supposed to be there because He hosts a radio show on Sunday mornings. But to my surprise, he moved everything around to see me on stage. None of us know what God had planned for him. My dad accepted Jesus for the first time yesterday and was the last person to be baptized on Easter. God works miracles all around us. Praise Jesus!
Benton grew up in church but decided to leave because: it was cool to be skeptical and it was NOT cool to be a Christian. He became an Atheist, and spent 11 years of his life believing God wasn’t real. In the months leading up to Easter, God had been revealing Himself to Benton. He even began to have dreams from the Lord. 4 days before Easter, someone gave him a Bible and he began to read it. He went online and googled Christianity, trying to figure anything and everything out that he could. On Easter Sunday, he experienced God and knew He was real. He rededicated his life to Christ and was baptized.
I had been baptized before but as a young child so I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing. This past year was on the worst years of my life. I have been a strong follower of Christ my whole life but the past year I spent just walking away from him and really committing every sin in the Bible (besides murder). This past summer, I started making my way back, and it was a real challenge for me because I knew everyone in my life forgave me, and God forgave me, but I did not forgive myself.
At Hume Lake I wanted to get baptized really badly cause I thought it was the closure for me, but I was not able to get baptized. I thought I would never be able to forgive myself. But I have spent the past 8 months on fire for the Lord and really just growing into a stronger follower. I had the opportunity to be vulnerable with all the girls in my youth group and share my dark past with them. After that I felt so raw but the girls just took me in and loved on me, and even told me that my story changed their lives. After I had started sharing more and even got a chance to speak on a very touchy subject, I finally began to forgive myself.
Being baptized on Easter was amazing because it was truly a declaration of my life being made new!
Conrad watched his sister get baptized on Easter 2 years prior, but he didn’t know if he was ready for it himself. He had gone to church a few times with his sister, but in general he has been putting it off as much as he could. He saw the joy it brought his sister, and he was compelled to give Easter a try. When the teacher mentioned that each person is created with a hole in their heart that is only meant to be filled by God, he knew that was exactly for him. He had been trying to fill his heart with all sorts of things – but not God. He decided to be dedicate his life to Christ and was baptized. Since then, he’s felt more whole than ever before.
Yesterday was incredible! We had 4 girls [from our community] come and they brought 13 additional family members and 6 children/babies. It was such an honor to baptize one of the teen moms, Kelly, alongside of Andrew Schey. She is 16 and has a 6 week old baby. Just a few weeks ago she was sitting in the backseat of my car with her baby and started crying and telling me she didn’t want to be a mom anymore. It was so neat to see God reaching out and meeting her when she needs it most.
The other gal, Isabel, is a friend of mine from college. I have been praying her for years and it was amazing to have her there and see her make that decision. She was really impacted by Becky’s story and could relate to it a great deal. What an incredible God we serve that would use us as vessels for His work.
I was baptized as a baby. Because of that, I never thought about being baptized again until I started studying baptism with a friend I met from school. It was somewhat a spontaneous decision, but I wanted to make my faith my own and be baptized since I am older and understand the significance of baptism.
In 2011 we decided to go to RHHB one Sunday and we loved it. We fell in love with the HB community. Our daughter Maria start to get more interested in Jesus and her teachers told us how eager Maria was about Jesus. On ”Easter Sunday” we had to bring her with us to sit in the Pacific Amphitheatre. This was her first time enjoying the service with us and I was nervous about her reaction. When it came time for baptisms, she looked at me, singing beautifully, when she looked to me and said “I want to go.” God touched her heart and choose that moment for her to be His follower for life. I felt how real is His spirit is through seeing my daughter encounter Him!
There are dozens of stories to be told that point to the ways that Heaven crashed into people’s lives on Easter Sunday. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week.