Thursday, September 03, 2009

Baptism in the Bow River

Four years ago I felt the urging of the Spirit to invite my next door neighbor, Kim, to attend "Ten Smart Things Women Can Do to Build a Better Life" at our church. I took the invitation home from church and asked my family to pray with me about finding an opportunity to invite her. So we prayed.

Three days later, my husband and I were to attend an NHL hockey game together. He never misses a Flames game. But this time he was too sick to go. When he asked who I might invite in his place, the first name that came to mind was Kim. But I set the idea aside and picked up the phone to look at recent caller IDs - who of our friends should I ask? Lo and behold, the first name on the caller ID was Kim.

"Okay, Lord," I smiled, "I get the hint." I prayed for an opportunity and when it presents itself, I almost miss it. I don't know why I hesitated. Or perhaps I do. She knows my life. She knows I sometimes yell at my kid, get impatient with my husband, and drive in less than stellar ways. How could I invite her to a church event if I wasn't living the way I should?

I called anyway and asked her if she liked hockey. Absolutely crazy about it. She'd be excited to go. As we drove to the Saddledome, we weren't in the car five minutes before she started talking about her spiritual search. Yet it was well into the middle of the second period before I pulled out the invitation. As she read the list of topics to be covered, she looked at me and said "These are all the things I've been trying to figure out."

Kim agreed to come and she said it was the hardest thing she'd ever done, walking through those doors alone but she continued, "Once inside, however, I realized I would never be alone again." She found a circle of supportive friends. She loved the class and when it ended, she enrolled for Alpha. "During Alpha," she said, "I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour."

Life has been up and down for Kim. She had a near death experience but God brought her back. Things may well get more difficult in the next few months due to a number of circumstances. But she took hold of these verses from Psalm 31:
In you Lord I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue. Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to serve me. Since you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your Name, lead and guide me.
And then she ended her testimony: "I'm here because of Jesus."

I'm so glad I could be his voice in one small way to make that first gut-wrenching invitation. God took care of the rest of the journey, I just needed to be obedient in order to share in the joy of watching another beloved daughter run into the arms of her Abba Father.

Pastor Terry Young and Grant Sylvester baptize Kim in the Bow River


  1. Very cool. God blessed me tonight reading this. I once talked to a friend of mine about Jesus while walking on the 12 hole of a golf course. He wanted to be baptized...right then. So we went to the water hazard (which was thankfully clean water) and baptized him....then we finished the hole. God give us the courage to talk up Jesus when you prompt us.

  2. That's a great example, reminds me of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8. Our pastor lives near the river and has baptized five people there this summer. It's exciting to see people make that choice and witness the life change that happens.