Last weekend, our sweet Elizabeth Francine was baptized. For the second time. We weren’t there for the first.
I am told that Elizabeth was first baptized as an infant in the local church near her orphanage. The denomination of churches to which we belong doesn’t do infant baptisms, and yet, I have always been jealous that I missed out on this. I picture her sweet little frame held close as the life of baby “Francine” was dedicated to God. I imagine fervent prayers being offered up to God by the body of believers in that remote eastern Congolese village. “Lord, be with this child.”
Meanwhile, back in the States, an equally fervent body of believers was praying. Praying as our adoption process stalled and halted and picked back up again. Prayed as we learned of a little girl who needed a family. Prayed, “Lord, be with this child.”
And He was. And He is. Several months ago, Elizabeth began talking seriously about following Jesus. We prayed and talked and prayed some more. “Baby girl,” we said. “The decision to follow Jesus is not always easy. It’s going to be an adventure- the greatest and sometimes hardest adventure you’ll ever go on. But our God goes with us.”
Lord, be with this child.
So, Saturday night, Matt looked into Elizabeth’s eyes as they stood in front of our church. “Elizabeth, do you believe Jesus has done everything necessary to save you? And do you promise to do whatever He tells you to do, and go wherever He tells you to go?”
And as she went down into the water, the tears came. Because the Lord has indeed been with this child of ours. This child of theirs. This child of HIS.
I wasn’t there for Elizabeth’s first baptism, but you better believe I was front row and center this go ’round. And I’m not sure I’ve seen a more technicolor picture of our God’s faithfulness. Ever.
So, to that little church in eastern Congo, I say, “Thank you. The Lord has heard your cries.”
And to her unbelievably strong and deeply resilient Congo family who, since Elizabeth’s birth, has begged the Lord for her salvation, I say, “Thank you, the Lord has heard your cries.”
And to our village here in the States who has come alongside our girl and our family to speak truth and love over her life, I say, “Thank you, the Lord has heard your cries.”
And to our faithful God to whom salvation belongs, I say, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.”