A record-breaking 97,344 people accepted Christ in baptism during a two-week evangelistic outreach by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rwanda. The baptisms took place at 2,227 sites across the African country.
Local church leaders credited the Holy Spirit and Total Member Involvement for the unprecedented number of baptisms. “When each member is involved, there will be a big harvest,” said Sophonie Setako, president of the church’s North-West Rwanda Field, as reported in Joel News. Total Member Involvement is the name of an initiative that encourages each church member to find ways to share Jesus with friends and communities.
In Rwanda, the 720,000 members took Total Member Involvement to heart. Many studied the Bible with neighbours and went door-to-door, inviting people to the evangelistic meetings. Members also donated money for food, cows, and health insurance policies aimed at improving the lives of impoverished people in their communities. Medical clinics at three locations provided free services to nearly 6,000 people over the course of a week.
Thousands of people packed the sandy shore of Lake Kivu to witness the baptisms.
The elderly and disabled were baptised first, followed by pregnant women and long lines of men and women. Eight pastors baptised 1,971 people in about 2 ½ hours. People emerging from the lake couldn’t have been happier. Wide smiles filled many faces as they exited the water and made their way to white tents, where they changed out of their water-soaked baptismal robes.
Application: Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. What is your own place as a worker in God’s harvest field? Write this down today and put the note on a visible place. It is a daily reminder to ask God to empower you to be a worker in his harvest.