Over the last eight months the Shalom church plant, which is made up of about 15 adults and 20 children, has been doing some basic biblical discipleship topics from the first SEAN course, "Abundant Life." During that time we covered 18 different topics including repentance from sin, belief and forgiveness, how to pray, and what it means to be a member of a local church.
After we had done the topic of Baptism we asked who was ready for baptism and seven people responded. We spent a number of weeks going over what baptism meant with everyone in the church to make sure they all understood what was happening. We chose a day at the end of July for the baptisms, but had to postpone it until the September 14 as some had work and others planned to be away on holiday with their families.
We met with those to be baptised the day before the event and discovered that another woman wanted to be baptised as well. Though she was a new Christian, we agreed that she was ready. On the day, an 80 year old woman who was a regular part of the Shalom Church but has been away for the summer said "why can't I be baptised too? Why didn't you ask me?" So we ended up baptising her as well - by pouring water on her instead of immersion because of her age. A total of nine people were baptised that day.
For the past year, Murray has been quietly working on making the Introducing God course culturally relevant and personalising the illustrations. As he finished each lesson, either a friend translated it, or Murray did the translation himself with our language teacher.
The result is 11 booklets in simple, easy to read A4 format. Since finishing them, Murray has given the first booklet to ten different men, including neighbours, the local mechanic, the men associated with the Shalom church and two others.
The plan is to follow each lesson up with a discussion over coffee, so he is going to be busy during these next few months working through the series with these men. 'M,' a nominal muslim taxi driver, was the first to read through the series with Murray and he became a Christian about half way through the course.
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