Ukrainian Children, Public Baptisms, Seminary Graduations
Mothers and their youngsters who fled Ukraine for safety to Prague are “broken-hearted, desperate, searching for hope.” A public baptism including more than 130 changed lives is significant on its own. Jamie Dew, NOBTS president, urged the schools’ graduates to consider the question that would impact their lives and ministries.
Mothers and their youngsters who fled Ukraine for safety to Prague are “broken-hearted, desperate, searching for hope,” LeAnna Hall told Baptist Press.
Hall’s idea for children and moms in the church to write letters of encouragement that would point the Ukrainian refugees “to the hope they could have in Jesus Christ,” is spreading across Oklahoma and the nation.
Hall and her husband, Pastor Mark Hall, now of First Baptist Church in Comanche, Okla., have been in ministry together for the 39 years they’ve been married.
News reports of families evacuating Ukraine as bombs fell around them, only to have their dads, after getting them to safety, leaving to fight for their country, gripped Hall’s heart. She wanted to do something, and thought to enlist the help of her Sunday morning students in the fourth and fifth grades.
So far, the letters have been delivered to Ukrainian children who are refugees in Prague.
A public baptism including more than 130 changed lives is significant on its own. But an onlooker’s response may be the biggest memory for Matt Laughter, worship pastor for Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida.
A heavily tattooed father of three approached Laughter during the morning setup May 15 at Sand Key Park for Calvary Church’s biannual beach baptism to ask if they group needed help.
As the morning passed, an opportunity for Laughter to share his faith story with the man helped him realize his own need for forgiveness and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
They parted ways having shared a life changing moment that Sunday.
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Jamie Dew, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College, urged the schools’ May 2022 graduates to consider the question that would impact their lives and ministries as they step into a new chapter in life.
“What is essential for you now?” Dew asked.
Dew defined “essential” by saying it refers to something a person cannot do without. After pursuing an education and earning a degree, graduate candidates must remember what is essential and worthy of their full devotion, Dew urged.
Dew pointed to passaged such as Deuteronomy 6:5 and the Great Commandment given by Jesus in the New Testament – he reminded them that what is essential is to love God and to love others.
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