Thirty-four new Bagwido believers in Papua New Guinea were baptized last month in spite of opposition from their families.
After missionary Mark Woodard taught the believers about baptism, several realized their need to be baptized following salvation. Most were members of another religion and had been baptized and given a new name as babies. They told Mark, "Wow, we were so confused by this before. Now we understand what the Bible says about baptism, but there are still a few non-believers in this village that are going to throw stones at us [make fun of us and maybe make it a little difficult] when we get baptized like God told us to do." Several of their unbelieving neighbors did openly mock those who were baptized, but in spite of this they had glowing testimonies.
One of the believers said, "I just want you all to know that I kept my same name, Rapail, when I went to water baptism. I didn't get a new one. No! That is just the thoughts of man. Look, I am still the same me. Baptism did not clean me and make me into a different man, no, it just strengthened my faith."
Lusian said, "Listen to me, all of you. Some of us have followed God's talk now in water baptism. I too got baptized and I was so happy because I knew I was identifying the mark of Christ when He went to the grave for my sin. Then he came back up and was alive again and we did this as a reminder when we were baptized. All of you listen to me -- study the Bible and listen to the Bible teaching so you know what is true and what is not true. Know what baptism means and what it does not mean!"
Allie Woodard, Mark's 12-year-old daughter, was also baptized that day. The following Sunday at church she gave her testimony in Bagwido and then in English so her visiting grandparents could understand. "I know for myself that God sent His Son Jesus to come down to this earth, die for my sin, be buried, and rise again on the third day. I am His child and that is why I want to be baptized."
Pray for the Bagwido believers as they continue to stand strong against opposition and tell others about their faith in Christ.