Real-life Disciple–Angela Day
Angela Day has much in common with other 10-year-old Adventist girls. She loves to read, knit, crochet and helps out with the family garden. She’s a Pathfinder and plays the flute. She also sings in the youth choir and loves Sabbath school.
Yet only a few years ago, Angela’s life was very different. Before arriving as a foster child with her two brothers to live in the home of Kent and Alice Day, Angela knew nothing about Jesus or the Bible. “It has been very exciting to watch Angela grow spiritually,” says Alice. “When she started hearing Bible stories and reading from the Bible, that is all she wanted to do.”
In April 2012, Kent and Alice adopted all three children. And on December 7, 2013 Angela was baptized into Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Salina Adventist Church in Salina, Kansas.
“I was watching others get baptized and I wanted to follow Christ also,” says Angela. “Reading the Bible and Bible stories helped me make that decision.”
Salina church pastor Otavio McKenzie, who baptized Angela, states, “How beautiful it was to watch a child at the tender age of 10 declare that Jesus was her forever friend, and that reading the Bible was her favorite thing to do in her spare time. We have nothing short of a young disciple in Angela.”
During her baptism preparation, Angela explained each of our fundamental beliefs to Pastor McKenzie. “Her parents surely did an awesome job with her, and we are so happy to have her join our church family!” adds Pastor McKenzie.
Rejoicing in heaven… and on earth
Angela remembers that she was very excited on the day of her baptism. “I was thinking about when Jesus was baptized,” she recalls. “Afterward we had a party and cake at church and lots of members gave me gifts and cards. We plan to celebrate the anniversary of my baptism each year.”
The members of Angela’s church have nurtured her spiritually in numerous ways. “Mrs. Draget helps me sing with the church choir. And Mrs. Schaefer and Mrs. Easey help me play the flute for worship service each week and special music,” Angela reports. “And my dad teaches my Sabbath school and helps me with the books of the Bible.”
Alice and Kent say they pray constantly for their children. “Our advice to other parents would be to unplug the cable, throw out the video games and fill the time with church family, Bible stories, camping, family activities—and get out of God’s way, for He is the one that leads them.”
Angela’s growing love for Jesus is evident in her daily life. “She is a joy to be around,” adds Alice. “Her love for Jesus is amazing and her sweet spirit is inspiring. We read the Bible to her and take her to church, but truly, Angela encourages us.”
- Encourage baptismal candidates to carefully prepare their guest list, inviting as many people as possible and remembering that some may come who are ready to commit to Christ if they are invited to do so.
- Enlist prayer warriors to be present that day—praying with candidates and their loved ones before the event and afterward for the Spirit to draw others to Jesus as a result of witnessing this ceremony.
- During the reception following the baptism, distribute loose papers so guests can write notes of encouragement to the newly baptized members. These can be assembled later into a memory book.
- Have an electronic guestbook where attendees video their message on a digital camera or their phones and send it to the new member.
- Baptismal certificates are an opportunity to “go all out.” Frame them nicely and present them to the candidates as gifts along with flowers, books, gift cards, etc.
- Help candidates share their spiritual story in a printed program, a video or in person that day.
Can you remember the day you were baptized? If you have photos, cards, mementos or special stories, it is easier to recall the details of that important event.
- Set aside time each year to remember the day you were baptized and think about what belonging to the family of God means.
- Create a scrapbook with a page per year for photos of meaningful activities that helped you grow spiritually, stories of friends who encouraged you, special Scripture verses, song lyrics, etc. Or go digital and make a collection of videos and blogs.
- Share the story of your faith journey with family, friends and neighbors. It will become more precious each year as you continue adding evidences of God’s grace.