19 July 2007

Swimming on Sunday

Sunday was my first opportunity to baptize believers in Uganda... I had no idea it would also be my first opportunity to save drowning victims. Earlier in the week Joseline asked if I would baptize her at church. When we asked the church Administrator if it would be alright he said, "Great, why don't you do all of them!" Doing new things always makes me nervous because whatever I expect to happen usually turns out quit differently... the first surprise is when they handed me a microphone once I was already in the water... all I could think about was the pastor in Waco, Texas that got electrocuted in a baptismal... the first time I ever prayed for a power outage!

Surprise number two was when fearless Joseline who has rescued me from snakes, rats and bats panicked in the water... everything they say about Africans swimming is true. Watch the summer Olympics and you'll believe me... you will never find a Ugandan in a pool. As she hung on for her life I realized that "full-immersion" in Ugandan means that the pastor must go under as well...

Surprise number three was when Pastor JP's grandmother got in the water. She doesn't know her age but by all accounts she is at least 90... and has never been swimming. Each time we went to dunk her she opened her mouth... probably to praise Jesus but still I didn't want her to drown. So finally I went for the old-school pastoral approach of closing her airways for her. It worked and she's alive to tell the story.
Overall, 20 members of Gaba Community Church were baptized including one of my students, Adiga Emmanuel. Not one knew how to swim but they all survived!


Steve Pyfrom said...

A little different than Jr. Highers, huh?

Sallie said...

Jeff - How fun! Congratulations to Joseline and the other survivors. What an incredible day! You know, you could have a side job of giving swimming lessons while you are there! You could attract a large crowd with a microphone.

Love, Mom

Teenietinyt said...

NICE..! Good job on the creative ariway procedure!!!
Very creative...signs of becoming AFRICAN!