Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baptism in Jawajeh

In mid-August a plane from the U.S. carried a Water of Life mission team to Liberia. The team members, although just meeting each other for the first time, were bonded in heart as they came to love and serve the Gola people in Jawajeh. They were joined by the Water of Life Liberia team and the hosting CRCA team and travelled to the Jawajeh region. They carried with them equipment and the heart to serve these people in need by providing water wells, medical clinics, evangelistic efforts, and children’s ministry. Despite difficult, muddy roads all of the vehicles and team members arrived safe and ready to work. They were welcomed with open arms. 

The water team had a difficult start, but finally hit water in a village called Denyondee and completed the well. As the community received water to drink they were also told about ‘The Water of Life’—Jesus Christ. The medical team also saw God’s hand in the midst of trials as one newborn baby died, and the baby’s mother given fluid intravenously, thereby preserving her life. Another small child was also saved after being rushed to a hospital in the city by two team members. Additional medications were purchased half way through the mission in order to adequately treat the remaining villages. 

In the evenings, the “Jesus Film” and the “God Story” videos were shown by the CRCA evangelism team throughout the villages for the purpose of mass evangelism. The Holy Spirit moved and many people put their trust in Jesus. As the team from the states left, many were sad to see them go, but the bonds that form while serving the Lord together will continue throughout eternity!

The short term evangelism efforts in the area were followed up by two CRCA team members, Winston (Evangelism Coordinator) and Jallah (CRCA pastor). The two-man team joined forces with the 15 CRCA pastors and evangelists in the Jawajeh region to carry “Operation Andrew” from village to village proclaiming, like Andrew in John 1, “We have found the Messiah.” This operation lasted for five weeks. The churches were strengthened and encouraged as a result of this work. The team organized prayer meetings, revival services, Gospel centered film showings, and leadership training for pastors and evangelists.

The leaders were taught how to lead small group Bible studies and how to use the chronological Bible storytelling series with visual aids published by New Tribe Ministry and IMB. They worked together with the local pastors and evangelists to set up Bible studies and follow-up with new believers in the nineteen villages. The efforts were fruitful and a baptism service was planned for new brothers and sisters to publicly profess what Jesus has done in their lives.

On October 17, 2009, some CRCA staff members joined the others in Jawajeh for the baptism of 20 new believers! The testimonies were beautiful! One brother, Andrew, told his story; “I grew up in a Muslim home, but the best school in the area was a Christian school. My parents sent me to that school and now, years later, I have become a Christian and want to be baptized.” There was celebration, drum beating, sassa shaking, and dancing through the town as believers walked to and from the baptism site. The rejoicing in the town of Jawajeh served as a true witness and invitation to the community to “Come and see Jesus, the Man who has told us everything!” 

Those who intended to be baptized made a circle and held hands and prayed while the rest surrounded them in prayer. The Baptism was followed by a church service encouraging the body of Christ in Jawajeh to continue with “Operation Andrew” in fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission to “make disciples”. We eagerly anticipate the next baptism in Jawajeh as these new disciples go and make disciples!    

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