Eight in the Bathtub

I wish you could have been there. Forty people packed into our living room, and eight courageous young believers ready to take the step of baptism.

You need to understand how brave these young people are. They are all from Buddhist families, from communities where no one else believes in Jesus. They are the first among their own people. There are no examples for them to follow, no mature leaders to guide them, no fellowships to attend. But still they choose Jesus.

In the crowded apartment, the young believers were asked a question: “Are you willing to suffer for Jesus, and even die for your faith in him?” Their response was determined and decisive: “Yes!” Then, one by one, they were baptized in our bathtub.

These believers understand the cost. They have been taught from the very beginning of their faith journey that there will be difficulties and opposition. They are told that they will likely face the strong disapproval of their families. They might lose their friends. The monks in their communities will undoubtedly argue with them and try to convince them to abandon their beliefs. They may be forced out of their villages. They may be beaten.

However, these new believers are also taught that Jesus is worth it; he is worth the sacrifice. And they are quickly learning this as they experience God’s love and power in personal ways. Several have experienced physical healing after receiving prayer. Some have had dreams that remind them of God’s presence with them. They are keeping in close touch with one another for mutual encouragement. And all of them are reading their Bibles in small groups and learning by retelling and discussing the portions that they are reading.

Please pray for these eight young people. Pray that they would keep learning from the Scripture. Pray that they would learn to depend on God and keep in step with the Spirit. Pray for their conversations and behavior with family members, that their relationships would be strengthened despite the tension. Pray that the transforming power of Jesus would be displayed in their lives through healing, dreams and power over evil spirits.

By a worker in Asia