The past week has been an exciting time. The weekend was a whirlwind trip to Mexico City, I bought my plane ticket home, and I have been preparing for the last major unit of the year (Charlotte’s Web is absolutely the perfect 3rd grade book). Best of all, we were looking forward to Margarita’s baptism.
However, there have been some… strange things going. Wednesday, we experienced a 4.8 earthquake that shook the house. None of us were hurt and the only city wide damage was one partially collapsed house, but it was frightening. Later that night, we all woke up to a fierce thunder storm. Thursday morning, Margarita asked me if I had been in one of the empty rooms where no one lives now. She saw the light on for a while and then it went off. Neither Kelly nor I had been in that room, but we went up to check and the light was on again. We turned it off, and while we were away at school someone checked it and didn’t see any problems with the connection. Later on Thursday, a transformer in our neighborhood blew and we had a kind of “brown out”, which was difficult for Margarita as well. On top of this, she had been having bad dreams all week.
This has all been a very powerful reminder of both the reality of spiritual warfare and the importance of baptism. There may be natural causes for all of the odd or frightening things that have happened in the past few days, but I do not doubt they are controlled by spiritual forces. However, it has been wonderful to see Margarita trusting in the Lord and believing Him to be powerful. On Thursday, the day before the baptism, the missionary who is discipling Margarita came. They walked through the house together praying for each room, even the empty ones. Ellen said she had seen this kind of spiritual attack many times during the week before a baptism.
It makes me wonder why baptism doesn’t seem to be surrounded by spiritual warfare in the United States (from what I have seen). Maybe it should be. Repentance from sin and reliance on Christ gives salvation. But baptism is like the birth a disciple, someone who is really serious about obeying Christ and following his commands. It is publicly disowning all else in favor of Christ. Maybe that is why faith and baptism were rarely separated in the New Testament by any significant time. Faith and commitment went together instead of a personal faith being allowed to be caught in a self focused stage before committing to service.
The baptism was held on Friday night. All three of Margarita’s children were able to be there and I think it was the first time for two of them to come to one of the Bible studies. Margarita shared about her life before she met Christ and how she came to know him. She told about how her life is incredibly different now, full of peace and love for others. Two other men were also baptized, one whom Margarita had invited to the Bible study a month or so ago. He is the clerk in a corner store near us and she noticed that he’d play Christian music on his shift. He was a Christian, but didn’t have a group of believers to meet with until he started joining us. As soon as the testimonies started, it started to rain (unusual for this time of year) and a baby started crying. More attacks, but God was still honored. After an explanation of the symbolism of baptism, we stepped out from under the patio (it has stopped raining for a few minutes) and I was able to help baptize Margarita in a small inflatable pool, along with Ellen. I am so thankful for this opportunity and expectantly waiting to see just what it is in Margarita that the enemy was afraid of and wanted to intimidate.
For more of Margarita’s story Faithfulness Springs Up from the Ground- November 2014
Photo is mine.