Four get baptised in the North Sea
After months of Bible studies and anticipation, four South Shields church young people got baptised on 10 September 2022 at Britain's best beach.
The weather looked bleak in the run-up to the baptism, with a chance of rain and high winds predicted; however, this did not stop Pastor Dan Majaducon from proceeding with the planned North Sea baptism of Arnold Joseph Fortuna, and three brothers, Leano Lemuel Samwinga, Luendo Lehae Samwinga, and Levi Liron Samwinga.
South Shields' Sandhaven Beach, was the venue of the baptism, an idyllic beach which was recently named Britain's very best in Sunday Times Beach of the Year 2022. One by one, starting with Arnold, the oldest of the four, Pastor Majaducon led each candidate to be baptised into the boisterous sea after which he brought them safely back to the shore.
Although each candidate had their own unique story, Joseph's testimony was arguably the most remarkable. After previously attending another denomination, he started searching for the truth. Despite not knowing any Adventists, God led him to the right people, the moment he started accepting biblical truths. Over time, Joseph found and watched the online Amazing Facts' Revelation Now series by Pastor Doug Batchelor which further deepened his faith and understanding of Adventist doctrines such as the 'State of the Dead' and the 'Sabbath truth'.
Finally, on 29 May, 2021, he started attending the Adventist church when services were still being held virtually through Zoom as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. At South Shields church, he joined the Young Adult CARE Group which is not just another small group but a place where he further deepened his faith. He also learnt how to grow in trusting and loving God and reflecting this in genuine relationships with people, especially seekers (those seeking the truth). This was answered prayer for Joseph, who had asked the Lord to lead him to the right people who would help him grow spiritually. Now, Joseph is on a mission to bring many people to the knowledge of Christ. He's thankful that his mother has since started regularly attending the South Shields church in Tyne and Wear (North East of England).
The three Samwinga brothers got baptised on the same day. Last year, the two older brothers, Leano and Luendo wanted to get baptised. However, the plans were put on hold due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic at the time. Earlier this year, when the plans were revived, 12-year-old Levi, also decided he wanted to be baptised and joined his older brothers in the baptismal classes with Pastor Majaducon.
Earlier during the week, the pastor went through with the baptismal candidates what to expect on the day of the baptism. The candidates also provided their favourite Bible texts which were shared with the congregation before they took their baptismal vows.
This baptism will be remembered for a long time not only because it took place at an idyllic beach, but also because it was held two days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and a day before The Great North Run.
More importantly, it was a very special moment to witness four young people choose to follow Jesus as their Master and Saviour.
Remarkably, the North East weather did not disrupt the baptismal event; it only started raining again as soon as church members got back to the church from the beach. That was such a welcome token of God's favour, power and grace.