A woman in our church was recently baptized. She invited her family to come and witness the event. They came, even though they weren’t followers of Jesus. But they had seen the dramatic changes in her life over the past months. Having come out of a recovery program, she was putting her life back together in positive ways. So her family came to witness the baptism out of respect and honor. This is a woman who is giving back now by serving as a group facilitator for another transition center. The power of mobilizing new believers for ministry sooner rather than later is significant.

When we do baptism in a public way that invites family and friends, we have opportunity to sow seeds for the extension of the gospel. I briefly explained the message of Jesus at the baptism. One child who was present asked the woman if she saw Jesus when she went under the water. A man who was there asked about the work we were doing with people in recovery and I shared a bit about that work, as well as our reforestation work in Madagascar. He was very interested in that. One of the great advantages of being a simple church is that we don’t have any overhead, so we’re able to give 80% of the money we take in to ministries like these. The rebirth of sobriety, the rebirth of creation, and the spiritual rebirth of people.