Greetings, friends! It's Sunday morning in Yerevan and, before we go to church in Charentsavan, where Pastor Joseph has his last official speaking engagement, we just want to share with you about yesterday's baptismal service.
We had expected eight people to be baptized but, due to pressure from outside sources, four of them backed out. Still, we were happy to make the trip to Sayat Nova to baptize three women--one of them just 15 years old--and a man. In the absence of a traditional baptismal venue, we opted for the small pool in the courtyard of the home of one the women. We had visited her last year so knew what to expect, but it was still a challenge to coordinate how to proceed.
After Pastor Joseph shared some Scripture verses, encouraged those being baptized to share their personal testimonies, and prayed for them, the group quickly changed and then climbed into the pool. Because of the shallowness of the water, Pastor Joseph could not dip them backwards as he normally does so each one crouched down and then dipped forward. There were many smiles as each one did their best to get wet!
After the baptisms, we celebrated the occasion together over fruit and coffee. We also enjoyed seeing two toddlers--the four-year-old handicapped girl we mentioned a few days ago as well as the two-year-old granddaughter of our hostess--happily playing with the resident kittens. We were saddened to later hear that the two-year-old was abandoned by her parents when she was barely 40 days old and left to the care of her loving grandmother.
As we prepared to return to the hotel, we were invited to someone's home for supper and enjoyed some more fellowship before we called it a day and rested up for today's activities.
It's amazing how quickly the last two-and-a-half weeks have gone by! We have just a few days left before we head home. We will miss our brothers and sisters here but look forward to reuniting with our family and church family back home.
Thank you for your continued prayers!