by Brigitte Toews
LANDMARK, Man.—Nine people at Heartland Community Church publicly chose to follow Jesus, eight through baptism (Kaitlyn Warkentin, Noah Keating, Josh Neufeld, Hudson Skjaerlund, Craig Sawatzky, Rachelle Sawatzky, Amanda Plett, Tiffany Froese) and one recommitment (Angela Storey).
Though each person expressed their desire to be a follower at different points along their journey, they were all here for the same reason: to be an example to others and obedient to Jesus, taking to heart his instruction in Matt. 28:18-20.
After each received a personalized comforter from our congregation, Pastor Andy Woodworth spoke words of wisdom and encouragement over each person to strengthen them. He then invited each one to listen and observe the leading of the Holy Spirit in their own lives as he handed them a symbolic gift to be opened with intention. They were invited to record their questions, prayers, answers, and unique experiences and words from God and others as they read their Bibles and pursue God wholeheartedly.
He also expressed the importance of character development in the process, like being trustworthy, authentic, and consistent in their relationship with God because it would be a life long pursuit that would require courage and strength.
Wow! It was a powerful service. But we are all invited into the same intimacy with God, so let 2017 be a time of personal revival that will, in turn, affect everyone else around you.