I walked in the dining room of our rescue mission to hear Kenny, one of our program participants, call out. “Rev. Anderson, me and 4 other guys are getting Baptized this Sunday!” he said excitedly. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at Kenny, not sure if I had heard correctly. As we continued our discussion I learned that over the past few months, one by one, these five guys had made the decision to follow Christ, through the influence of our Men’s Program and in partnership with a local church. The local church made the opportunity available for the men to be baptized as a witness to the decisions they had made.
In “rescue work” one works long and hard, usually dealing with people who hear with their ears, the Gospel message we proclaim, and the message doesn’t get to the heart. Most of the time we don’t see the results of the hard work. Most of the time we see addiction and other issues serve as barriers to our sharing with people. Then occasionally something like this happens.
What a celebration we had as we traveled to the church and in a make-shift baptismal pool, witnessed men once arrogant and angry, humbly following Jesus’ example by proclaiming to the whole world their decision to follow Christ. I am indeed proud of these men and grateful that I have a small part in their Christian growth.