This Easter Sunday was doubly special at Strode Crescent on the Isle of Sheppey. As well remembering the amazing work Jesus had done in defeating death and the joy and hope that the empty tomb gives to all, they had the joy of celebrating the baptisms of five of their church family. Abbey, Colin, Luke, Trisha, Lorraine were there with their families to witness to God’s saving love to them and their love for Him through the powerful expression of Baptism.
“I’ve seen the works of the devil in the world and if the devil is real then there must be a God” - Abbey
"I now believe in Jesus 100% and that is why I am getting baptised” - Lorraine
They all shared, in one way or another, their own stories of how they came to know Jesus for themselves and of the change he has made in their lives. From being “ambushed by Jesus” (Colin) and having what felt like a dark suffocating blanket removed, to having “addictions and habits taken away” (Abbey and Luke), these five people spoke from their hearts of the very real difference that Jesus has made to them and how their lives have altered as a result. These changes weren’t just hopeful and imagined, but seen in their lives by others who are close to them and love them.
Colin, while grieving for his lost brother said this, “While singing it just felt like someone came and lifted a dark cover off of me. Something dark had gone out of me”.
They spoke of acceptance by God, of who they were, just as they were; of forgiveness of all the things they had done wrong and new chances living restored and forgiven lives. Things haven’t always been smooth and they still encounter rough roads but in times of trouble they now know there is someone who walks with guiding and directing their paths. They spoke of new paths opening up and chances of serving God in ways that before were unimaginable and hope for the future that once looked uncertain.
“I was brought up in a Christian family but I doubted and sat on the fence. I smoked, did drugs, things not good. It’s been a long tough journey but it’s faith that gets you through. Now I love Christ and He loves am and forgives me. I know He is real” - Luke
“He (Jesus) is my friend who is always there and who helps me when life gets hard. I pray to Him often - my biggest prayer is that my life would get better” - Trish
They spoke of acceptance by God’s people- who have loved them and opened their hearts to them without judgement or reserve. People who over the many years have stood by them, picked them up when they had fallen, wiped their tears, given an occasion push in the right direction when needed (!) and who, above all loved with the love that can only be given by God.
Find out more at www.strodecrescentbaptistchurch.co.uk