A Day to Rejoice--2 Baptisms!!

Friday, December 06, 2013
Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, Colombia
We had another busy day of visiting scheduled today. We had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out for the day. We were going to another outlying community. I didn't bother looking up the directions this time as yesterday it proved to be fruitless. Our taxi driver didn't have any problems finding the house, and when we pulled up, we saw Elcida right away.

Elcida has lived in this house for 32 years . Next door to her is her daughter, Ana, and next door to her is Elcida's brother, Alberto. I am not quite sure how many live here, but when they come to church services, there are 14 of them.

We walked through the living room of the house out to the back terrace. There are three large mango trees that shade this area where we sat to visit with them, which made it very comfortable. The slight breeze under the trees was most pleasant. Next to where we talked, there was also a small penned in area where they had 11 chickens. The chickens chimed in on occasion during our counseling and visit.

We first talked with Elcida and her daughter, Ana back at the Feast in Cartagena when they requested to be baptized. At that time, in addition to our discussion, Scott gave them materials to read and study. We communicated with them in the following months, and we said we would return to Cúcuta at this time to talk thoroughly about baptism in person . They said they had read and studied the materials many times, and then passed the booklets on to others in the church. One of Elcida's brothers was the first one in her family to have contact with the church back in 1978. Ana was just a young girl then.  

After discussing any questions they had, and talking to them about baptism for about 3 hours, we felt they were ready for baptism. We inquired if there was a place near them to do it. They said there was a river about an hour away. I asked if any one had a pool or large tank of water. They said that a neighbor about 6 blocks away had a neighborhood pool. They called them up and it was available. 

By this time is was lunch time. Elcida and Ana had prepared lunch for us. We ate our lunch out on the patio. We had beef steak, boiled potatoes, rice, lettuce salad, and Lulo juice to drink. For dessert, they had flan and a corn pudding which is boiled in corn husks. It was way more than I could eat, but I tried everything. 

After we ate, we walked to the pool. To get there we had to walk down a very steep hill. It wasn't so bad going down, but going up was a little more challenging. The family that had the pool actually had two cement pools. One was about the size of a small hotel pool; The other one was the "kids" pool which was about the size of a double jacuzzi . It was one meter deep--39 inches. Apparently, they plan on the parents being in the pool with the children; otherwise the children would drown. 

We used this pool for the baptism. Scott borrowed a "tank top" type shirt from Ana for the baptism. During our preparation to leave the hotel, he had forgotten a shirt that could get wet. Since he does not own a tank top, this was a new experience for him. There were about eight teenagers in the other pool, and during the baptism, they stayed by the side of pool and watched us. They were quiet and respectful. When we were done, they went back to playing and having fun. We finished up with the laying on of hands near the dressing rooms in a more quiet area.

After everyone changed clothes, we walked back to Elcida's place. Elcida, who is 62, said that this was the first time she had ever been in a swimming pool. She had two reasons to celebrate today!

We talked some more to other family members . Albert was sick for many months with kidney problems and was in the bed most of the time. At the Feast, Elcida requested an anointed cloth from Scott for him. When she returned home, they prayed and used the anointed cloth on him in the morning. By the afternoon, he got up, showered, got dressed, and went to work in his shoe and clothing store. He has been working every week day since. He says, "I can eat and drink everything now. He looked like a picture of health.

When we needed to return home, Ana said that she would hail a taxi on the street as it is a main street going through town. There were a lot of taxis, but they were all occupied as they drove by. Across the street from where we were waiting was a man selling gasoline. (See picture below.) The Venezuelan border is only about 10 minutes away. People go there and buy gasoline in five gallon jugs and sell it here for a profit. It cost about $1.50 per gallon in Venezuela. They sell it here for about $2.50 per gallon. Right now, the border is closed as there will be elections in Venezuela on Sunday. That has caused the price of gasoline to go up to $4.00 per gallon here. In other parts of Colombia, the price of gasoline is much higher than here in Cúcuta. 

We waited for at least 20 minutes in the hot sun before a taxi came by that was free. He was a young man, but a very nice and safe driver. He chatted freely with us on the way back to the hotel. We arrived home at 4:30 PM. We had been gone for six hours.

It was a long day, but a joyful day as two children of God committed their life to God and His way of life. 


Braun family

Wonderful news to hear of the two baptisms!


It sure is fun recognizing people from the Feast