Daylee wants to see a Disciple-Making Movement in East Africa. In previous stories, Daylee met a Muslim man named Salaam who needed healing, spiritually and physically. God took Daylee and Salaam on a journey into the Word, which led Salaam to Jesus. Below is an exciting moment in Salaam’s story—his baptism!
Scripture Prompted Salaam to Be Baptized
The weekend before Christmas, I ran into Salaam at the market. After exchanging greetings, he quickly turned the conversation to a story he had been reading in the Injeel (New Testament) that I gave him.
"Mama Baraka," he said, "In Matendo (Acts), I read a story about 3,000 people who believed the message of Issa al-Masih (Jesus). I noticed that the student of Issa al-Masih told everyone that they needed to repent and be baptized if they believed. Does that mean I should be baptized too?"
Overjoyed by his question, I responded with my usual question. "Well, what do you think Salaam?"
He nervously responded with several reasons why it makes sense for him to be baptized. I knew he wouldn't give me a direct response without a direct question, so I asked, "Salaam, are you ready to repent and be baptized?"
"Yes! I am ready," he exclaimed. "Can we meet on Christmas Day?" I agreed.
Praying Through Spiritual Warfare
On Christmas morning, I went to town to meet Salaam. Much to my surprise, he wasn't there. After two hours of shopping and greeting other friends, he did not show. I went home feeling defeated.
Unwilling to give up on Salaam, I returned to town after our Christmas lunch. I talked with a couple of our mutual friends and found out that he had been sick for a few days. I felt in my gut that it must have been spiritual warfare. I left my phone number with the people he worked with just in case he did show up later that day. Unfortunately, I heard nothing.
I asked friends to pray for Salaam and against spiritual warfare. However, as days went by, I grew more discouraged at the thought of missing the opportunity to see Salaam take this critical step of obedience to God's Word. It grieved me to think that I may never see him again.
Baptism is a Sweet Celebration
The night before we left East Africa, I received a phone call late at night from a number I didn't recognize. Typically, I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know but I felt lead to answer it anyway.
"Mama Baraka. It's Salaam."
My heart leapt! I listened as Salaam explained his strange illness and expressed his burning desire to still be baptized. I explained to him that I was leaving the very next day, to which he responded, "Please, Mama Baraka, baptize me."
The following morning was glorious and I will never forget the experience as long as I live—the walk to the beach, the coolness of the water, the joy on Salaam's face, the tears in his eyes, listening to him rejoice and praise God in his language for saving him and his desire to tell everyone of the good news he has heard and received, and praying together as brother and sister in Christ.
I praise God for the opportunity to be a small part of Salaam's story. It truly was the best parting gift of all.
Salaam's story communicates howGod's Word prompts new believers to be baptized. Disciple-makers do not need to force new believers to be baptized. The most powerful way for them to experience that act of obedience is to be convicted by the Holy Spirit to do so through Scripture!
Additionally, as Daylee expressed,spiritual warfare should be expected when people come to faith and want to be baptized. The best way to deal with spiritual opposition is to do what Daylee did—encourage people to pray!