End of Year Baptism at Stanborough Park Church
10th January 2018
The last Sabbath of 2017 saw worshippers at Stanborough Park church witness a baptism with a difference. With the presence of SEC's Pathfinder director Pastor Kevin Johns on the platform facing a line-up of Pathfinders in full uniform, it could easily have been confused with a Pathfinder event!
Altogether nine Pathfinders chose the start of a new year to put into practice their commitment to a new life in Christ through baptism alongside Mrs Kartina Clifton, a mother of three children who has been actively involved in church life for some time. Fellow Pathfinder Mateo Turturica joined them later on to be accepted into membership by Profession of Faith.
What had precipitated such a large number of our youth deciding on baptism at this particular time? When asked that question, Pathfinder leader, Paula Carrillo provided the answer.
"The Pathfinder ministry touches every sphere of people development recognising that in the centre of all we do is Jesus our Saviour, our Strength, Leader and Friend. There were nine Pathfinders altogether: eight were baptised at Stanborough Park and the other one was baptised in August at the SEC Pathfinder Camp where the guest speaker from Canada, Pastor Matufe, delivered a very practical message about God in our lives and Jesus as our Saviour and Shield. The Pathfinders decided to make Jesus part of their lives at camp. One of them, Mateo, couldn't wait any longer."
On their return she says the group of nine undertook Bible studies with the church's pastoral team. In addition to that they all "studied in the Pathfinder Bible Experience 2018. Eight of them decided to go further and be part of the team who will sit the test at Area 7 level on 13 January," asserts Paula before adding, "the team prays for every child in the club that we have been trusted to mentor. We are there to listen to the children and young people, to point them to Jesus, to have fun in the outdoors while they discover their God." She is very pleased that the church's Adventurer and Pathfinder Club is growing in numbers and includes her own children who she feels benefit greatly from its influence.
With so many candidates the service finished unusually late! First into the baptismal pool were Thonto and Joshua Ntata, a brother and sister who were baptised by their grandfather, Pastor Roy Chisholm, followed by Mrs Kartina Clifton who in common with the remaining young men was baptised by senior minister, Pastor Jacques Venter. Next it was the turn of Akintunde Ayo-Ipaye followed by Michael Auyeh, Kelechi Wuso, Chisom Wuso, Andrew Moy and TJ Moyo, the tallest of the group who has been helping the AV Department's camera crew for some time.
Each candidate was asked for their favourite Bible verse and what their baptism meant to them ‒ their responses provided in a handout along with the programme.
Kalechi's was very simple, " I want to give myself to God and be closer to Him always", whilst Kartina's was equally simple, "God has granted me a new life in this life and the eternal one", which essentially summed up the views of the others. TJ, who was thanked publicly by Pastor Venter for the example he set others, added a little more to his statement, "Earlier on in the year I witnessed the saving grace of God through a personal experience and without a shadow of a doubt I understood that God was calling me to work in His field not only as a young teenage boy but as a testimony to others."
For the Pathfinder leader this is not the end of their story. "Seeing them giving their life to Jesus is the perfect seal of commitment and joy. Their journey continues and we'll still continue caring for them. They all create a positive influence to their peers. What a better place to be and with your friends!"
Let the parent of two of the candidates have the final word on the occasion, "It was a glorious day." It was certainly one to stress the role that the Adventurer and Pathfinder Clubs play in bringing young people to Christ and a better knowledge of God.