Celebrating Baptism and 10 Years of Partnership

Celebrating Baptism and 10 Years of Partnership

The following is an account from Karin Daun, an UNUM board member, about her recent experience while on a mission trip in Guatemala with UNUM. She and her husband, Bill, visited the program in Los Verdes ten years ago, and were there in January to be part of the ten year celebration of ministry partnership. In this post, Karin shares about her experience getting to baptize her sponsored child, Kimberly, and the events that led up to that day!

On January 7, 2023, our team was delivering backpacks with school supplies to children in the community and had gone to Kimberly’s home to deliver a backpack and catch up with Kimberly, who we have sponsored for ten years, and her family.  We had a wonderful home visit with Kimberly, her sister Lindsey and her grandmother, Josephina.  After being greeted with a warm hug, we sat outside of the house, near the garden where the chickens were walking about, and talked. It is always a good conversation. Kimberly is shy but over the ten years since our first trip and when we started sponsoring her, we have developed a great relationship. I thank God for Kimberly. I thank God for her grandmother, Josephina, who is a godly woman and who cares for the children. I thank God for her mother who works hard to make money to provide for the family.  Josephina is a strong believer and woman of prayer which she has been from the first day that I met her. She holds your hand tightly when praying and prays in agreement and praise as we pray for the family.  Kimberly’s mother is usually at work when we visit and was a work for this visit.  We do not know her relationship with Jesus but we do know that she loves and provides for her family.

At the home visit, I asked Kimberly if she had been considering baptism.  We had talked briefly about baptism a year ago when I had been in Guatemala and I had hoped that she was preparing for it by studying God’s Word and allowing God to work in her heart.  We had heard that she was afraid of the water, so we wanted to make sure she was not putting off the obedience of baptism because of a fear.  We talked about baptism and what it meant, and that God would prepare her heart at the right time, and we would work through the fear of the water and make sure that she was comfortable, but her heart needed to be ready. When we left the home visit, it seemed that Kimberly was not quite ready to be baptized but God was stirring in her heart.

On January 8, we had the ten year celebration of the partnership between central Indiana and Los Verdes. It was a great day. We gathered outside of Pastor Alfredo’s church where we started with VBS ten years ago. At the end of the day, Cris Chamalé (a volunteer for UNUM International) told Bill, my husband, and I that Kimberly wanted to get baptized in the morning and that I was going to baptize her alongside Profe Luis (a teacher in one of UNUM’s programs). Wow, what an honor!

The next day (January 9th) was VBS day and we were going to baptize Kimberly in a beautiful setting behind the Mission house so it could be a quiet, holy time with God. Edwin, the guard at the Los Verdes ministry site, set up a small pink pool behind the Mission house and we gathered among the beautiful green vegetation.  Profe Luis and I talked with Kimberly about baptism and the road ahead.  Cris did the interpretation, Bill was taking pictures and videos throughout, and Josephina, Lindsey, Kimberly’s mom and little brother served as witnesses of the this holy moment.

Luis and I started with scripture and Luis read Romans 6:4; “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”  And Acts 22:16, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”.

We told Kimberly that was what the bible said, but we needed to know why she wanted to get baptized.  Her answer was beautiful.  She said, “For all the bad things I have done, I want God to forgive me and to be a better person with God.”  We talked about the hard work ahead to live a changed life. We told Kimberly that she would need the support of her family and the teachers at the learning center.  I asked the family if they were ready to support and encourage Kimberly.  Lindsey and Josephina quickly said yes.

Profe Luis talked to Kimberly to ensure that he felt she was ready to be baptized. When Cris, Bill, Luis and I all felt like Kimberly had a good understanding of the step of obedience she was about to take, we went to the pool and baptized Kimberly in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  We celebrated with a few pictures of the new Kimberly then off to VBS. 

Kimberly’s mom had taken the morning off of work to be with the family at the baptism.  She also brought subway sandwiches for the whole mission team!  It was truly a day of celebration in so many ways!  God is so good!  We are so proud of Kimberly!

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