The City No Longer Forsaken

"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." ~Isaiah 62:12

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nathan's Baptism

After a LOT of wrestling over what I thought about infant baptism vs. adult baptism, I was surprised when I found myself in tears this morning sitting in the front pew in church with my husband and my son, waiting to bring him up for baptism. More than just having come to a place of surrender, somehow I was actually excited for it too. (I've been raised in churches that do both, so I really wanted to wrestle it through with God before I made a choice for our kids. And Joel, who has never been confused about the issue, was patient enough to allow me to do the wrestling before we went through with it.) Nathan screamed pretty much from the second we stood up to baptize him up until we finished praying for him at the end...and then I was able to settle him down. So, I was glad I had that one reflective moment sitting in the pew before we brought him up and all my attention was on him rather than the words.

We decided to baptize him on Pentecost Sunday. The Japanese churches I've been in usually do baptisms on Christmas and Easter, but Pentecost is another option. I've always thought Pentecost would be an awesome day for baptisms, but especially because it was the day that God said "Yes!" to the prayers for a baby. It felt really fitting to offer Nathan back on the same day a year later that I found out he was coming. Crazy how much can change in a year!

Nathan barely calmed down for a picture

Cindy and Nathan

Suda-san has become one of Nathan's adopted grandmas. Nathan will get to meet his real grandmas this summer, but I'm thankful for adopted Japanese grandmothers!

Me with Pastor Nomura and Nathan

In Pastor Nomura's sermon, he talked about how special the baptism was because it is the first baptism he has gotten to do since the earthquake. He talked about God providing people who are willing to raise their children here, and I was so encouraged. When I came to Fukushima, it seemed like such a strange call . . . like I had so little to give at that time in my life. I remember praying that God would use our presence there, if nothing else, to communicate hope. I often forget, since my words never seem to communicate hope the way I'd hope they would, how much it really can mean just to stand with people in a place. I hope to be able to do more for them someday have the Japanese and the wisdom to speak more in. But I am encouraged to know that living here with a baby is an encouragement to the Christians who are standing here.

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