“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.”(Romans 6:4)
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
These truths are lived out every day for those of us who are Christ’s followers, and specifically, we had the opportunity to celebrate the new life of ten girls who chose to participate in baptism from La Arquilla, Oasis, and Casa Ester. Due to restrictions, we did not go to the pools this time; we were on campus and still had a fantastic time.
Teams collaborated to make the day happen, from maintenance setting up the pool to administration planning and preparing picnic lunch, and the girls leading in music. Singing was boisterous, and before praying over the girls, Pastor Libny shared reminders about the meaning of baptism, the symbol we were going to witness, and in which many would participate.
Some of the girls lined up at the edge of the pool were emotional with tears in their eyes; others were bold, smiles shining brightly. Each girl, after a sharp inhale because of chilly water, declared that she had chosen to follow Jesus – God who rescues and saves and who has given her new life to walk in obedience to Him. Then, before being submerged and lifted out of the water, she spoke her identity — who and how she now stands before God: Daughter, Chosen, Powerful, Clean, and a piece of Art.
Friends, housemates, caregivers, and staff cheered! We observe baptism publicly and rejoice together because while each story is unique in its pain, and in its freedom, we are brought into a family, we are a body, and we grow together. After the service, everyone enjoyed games and challenges put on by the house moms and a properly soaking splash day before the rains came down.
Laughter, truth, and hope defined the day.
May we continue to walk in newness of life.
A note from Corbey
As Guatemala enters its fourth month of lockdowns, the country is feeling the effects. White flags are prominently being waved by families signifying they have no food. The government is overwhelmed trying to meet the needs of unemployed people. The health care system is overwhelmed by the number of COVID-19 illnesses.
But Kids Alive Guatemala is not overwhelmed. Our staff have done a remarkable job meeting needs, adjusting to changes, and lessening the impact on our children and families. We also are working hard to be ready as the country re-emerges to be ready to serve as an influencer for positive change.
Even in the midst of shutdowns and being trapped on campus, we celebrated the decision of ten young ladies in our program to be baptized. It was the first Oasis/Casa Ester baptism without me as I am stuck in the US waiting for the Guatemalan border to open. Even within that, there is a blessing as I can see how our Spiritual Development team has grown. It has shown me that the Holy Spirit is at work and that it is not just about any one individual.
We are grateful to our supporters and look forward to the days when we can see you in person — whether in the US or when you can return to Guatemala.
Corbey Dukes, President, Kids Alive International