I’m coming off fresh from our very first Grace Place Weekend. I cannot describe the kind of experience we had and the kind of power God has shown to us. On the other hand, I’ll try to share the facts, let it describe what I am feeling right now:
* We prayed for 20 participants (the accommodation provided for us by the resort is up to that number only — so we prayed for the max). God gave us 17. That’s 85% of what we asked for! I realized that God will not always give 100% of what you ask for. But when he does, it’ll be overwhelming — like the other item I’ll describe later.
* We had a mix of believers (the core group) and guests. From the indications God gave us, the retreat helped all the guests to accept Jesus as Lord and savior and the core group was led to reaffirm their faith in Jesus.
*… and who said God won’t allow a 100%? The retreat culminated in a baptism. ALL asked to be baptized except for Kuya Prudy — the pastor who baptized the participants. That’s 100%! Sixteen souls were excited to tell the world about their faith in Jesus! It was the most celebrative baptism rites I have ever attended. Everyone was so excited and shouting for joy as each one rises from the water. (pictures later)
* I asked to be re-baptized. And I was the very first one to be dipped in the pool. I was first baptized when I was 13 years old. From what I can remember, it has no meaning to me then. So I thought of re-baptism because this is the first time baptism finally have a real meaning for me.
* My wife, who was a devout Catholic and has accepted Jesus sometime 2001, received baptism too! After her conversion back then, I mentioned to her about the possibility of being baptized. She reacted repulsively. I never mentioned the topic again — I simply let her grow in the knowledge of God in her own pace. Until yesterday, when she too, was very excited to perform the “wedding ceremony” with Jesus.
All these, especially the 100% baptism, is our very first literal, visual confirmation from God. He will change people’s lives through Grace Place! To Him be all the glory!