One year almost to the week from the reopening of our churches from COVID in 2021, the Forth Valley District of the Scottish Mission (Edinburgh, Scotland), welcomed eight new persons into our global fellowship of believers. Four of the baptisms were done indoors at the Hope House Dunfermline Church. The following four were outdoor baptisms in a reservoir in the Pentland near Edinburgh: two from the Edinburgh Adventist Community Church and two from the Musselburgh Adventist Community Church. In comments after the event, Pastor Gabriel Perea, the district pastor said, "Baptisms are always such a tremendous blessing and a time to celebrate, for the new believer, and the church families at large. To see one give their life to Christ in the baptismal waters is always a spectacular thing to watch!"
Before the pandemic, and now afterwards, the Forth Valley District has been using Discipleship Bible Study Groups as a means to revive, reveal, instil, and grow new believers and current members. There are currently seven ongoing Bible study groups across the district and the baptism of 28 May heralded the fruits of this evangelistic and ministry paradigm.
Three of those who were baptised heard about the Adventist Church for the first time during the 2020-2021 COVID lockdowns. They came across the Adventist faith via YouTube. Each began to search for local Adventist churches in their area. One of these seekers, Istvan, was searching for hope and clarity following the loss of his mother. He found compelling and comforting answers through an Adventist message on a YouTube channel. Not only did he begin to attend church and study the Bible, but shared his interest and invitation with his sons and their mother.
Janet and Jessica, a mother and daughter pair, were comparing and contrasting Bible teachings from various churches and concluded that the Adventist church had a clearer and more biblical truth. The Dunfermline church, embraced Istvan, Janet, and Jessica and took them in,inviting them to join an ongoing Discipleship Group.
Three more young people that were baptised, Tolu, Sean and Chanelle, were brought up in the Adventist church, and joined one of the discipleship groups pre-lockdown and post-lockdown. These studies helped to build and strengthen their faith and resolve to join the global Adventist movement. Two more; Mili and Elenoa, who are sisters, are part of a discipleship group south of Edinburgh. These young adults have not only been studying the Bible but have been very involved in serving, and leading in their local church.
Pastor Gabriel says "There are eight more persons, youth and young adults who are currently part of an on-going Discipleship Bible Study group, and who have made their decisions for baptisms as well. Amongst them, two who are siblings of those who were baptised are awaiting baptisms in June.
The impact of the baptisms were not only felt by those who attended on the day. Both morning and afternoon baptisms were streamed live. During the live-stream, Pastor Gabriel received two text messages from three more individuals who felt convicted and prompted by the Holy Spirit to be baptised as well! Two of those are the sons of the man who had lost his mother during the lockdown. "The Lord has truly been good!", exclaimes pastor Gabriel. "We are praying for the Holy Spirit to continue to lead and guide in the lives of all of those who were baptised, and who have made their decision for baptism as well! To God be the Glory!"