Three of the guys in the bakery/discipleship program made decisions to follow Christ with their lives (Richemond, Wilson, and Manno). As a result, they wanted to get baptized.
Moise and I started looking around to find a place where we could do a baptism. Moise being the Bible teacher I work with.
In the churches I have visited in Haiti, I have never seen a baptisimal inside the church building like is common in the States. I think they usually do it at a natural source like a river or the ocean.
Moise knew about a park that had just such a river running through it with a pool where he said baptisms are frequently done. We went and visited it during a weekday and it seemed like an ideal location. There was hardly anyone there and it the setting was quaint and peaceful. The park had a short walking trail that we explored. I was surprised at all the Voodoo paraphernalia littered along the trail and stuck on the trees, but Moise told me at night the park was often used for voodoo ceremonies.
Finally the scheduled day came. Yesterday (Saturday) a group of us went out to do the baptism. I was surprised at how packed out the place was when we arrived. It was a lot more of the happening place on Saturday afternoon than a weekday morning!
Nevertheless, we all gathered in a circle and had a brief service by the side of the pool. We prayed over the guys and each of the three men shared a few words of why they wanted to be baptized.
Then Moise and the first person got in the water. Imagine doing a baptism at a public swimming pool on a Saturday afternoon in July. That is what the scene reminded me of!
As Moise was getting ready to baptize the first person, a rowdy bystander did a cannonball almost on top of him! But soon some other people spoke up and told those being disruptive to stop and be respectful since we were doing something serious here. By the time of the third baptism, many people at the pool had paused from their activities (swimming, bathing) and were watching us.
So it turned out OK afterall. Baptism is supposed to be public, and this one was very public! Everyone in the picture below was a bystander and you can see we have their attention!
Please be in prayer for Wilson, Manno, and Richemond as they walk with the Lord. Mesi!