By: Dr. Lois Spitzer
Acts 22:16: “ And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name” (NIV).
As the ABCNJ Annual Session came to a close this year, the water baptism candidates were lining up. On their faces were expressions of pure joy and anticipation. As various ABCNJ pastors carried out the baptisms and lifted each believer out of the water, I noticed a mixture of emotions. One had tears of joy, one had a broad smile, and yet another seemed peaceful.
After Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer baptized the last candidate, Rev. Dr. Mia Chang, and the region’s newest Associate Regional Pastor, Rev. Miriam Méndez, was praying the final prayer at the close of this year’s Annual Session, I heard a small voice at my side saying, “I want to get baptized, please”. I looked at the young woman standing next to me and my first thought was, “Sorry. We just ended the meeting and everyone is out of the baptismal tank. Besides, the hotel wants us to leave now so they can clean up and prepare for the next group”. She saw my look of hesitation and I thought she was reading my mind! She persisted, “But I would like to get baptized now”. Acts 22:16 came to mind: “And now what are you waiting for?”
I quickly shared this opportunity with Lee and asked Rev. Dr. Edgard Nicholas to speak with the young woman, who was a member of his congregation. They both agreed to do this one last baptism and Lee got back into the tank inviting the young woman to join him. Edgard stood next to the tank and prayed for her. As Lee lifted this young woman out of the water, her face was beaming. All the thirteen baptismal candidates had proclaimed Jesus as their Lord and Savior and had dedicated their lives to Him! We all got a glimpse of heaven that day in New Brunswick.