In October they talked about baptism in chapel and Canaan came to us soon after to ask if he could be baptized. We asked him some questions and he seemed to understand what baptism was on the level he is currently able. We talked about when and who and he asked about doing it at Beach Debrief with my college students, knowing that is something special we do every semester. Honestly I didn't talk too much about it from there for awhile because I wondered if this was a fleeting thought based on chapel or something he was serious about. But he started bringing it up again as December came closer so we continued to talk to him about it. He struggles with worry and second guessing so we processed through his doubts about whether he was doing this "for attention or to impress people" (his words) or whether it came from a genuine desire to follow Jesus. He also worried about whether he might every change his mind about this decision. I'll be honest and say that I had some of my own fears come up, wondering if this was "too early" and if somehow it would negatively shape his desire to just love Jesus if he got mired down too quickly in the Christianese and the childhood "decision" as opposed to cultivating his friendship with Jesus. Nate did a fantastic job of coaching Canaan through this and ultimately encouraged him that even if there were some self-motivations and even if there were doubts, that if he simply loves Jesus and desires to follow him, it's a wonderful step to take.

Canaan talked with Loren, our LLI chaplain, at the beach and had some more questions but was sure he wanted to be baptized. So one morning he gave a simple testimony and then sat as one of our students gave a powerful testimony of struggle through sin and temptation, a belief that he was unlovable and the ways God has redeemed him. I don't think Canaan understood much of what was shared or the honor that it was to sit and hear that testimony but it was a neat experience to watch. We then went down to the water and waves, and with 30 students holding hands around us, baptized our son. He came out of the water with the hugest grin on his face and then joined the circle of witnesses to watch the second baptism. At lunch that day Loren bought both baptizees batidos (smoothies) of their choice to celebrate so that last pic is the 2 of them enjoying their batidos together.

 

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