Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Special Sunday

This past weekend we went to our daughter Joy's house for some special celebrations. Joy's stepdaughter Ashley, is engaged to a young Russian-born man, Ivan. He is from a Russian family of 8 children, and attends a Bible-believing church of Russian immigrants in Vancouver, Washington. Ashley and Ivan have been very busy...planning a July wedding, preparing their new home, studying for Ivan to become a U.S. citizen, and studying the Bible to prepare for their Baptism, as well as working at their every-day jobs. We were privileged to be able to attend their Baptism this past Sunday.

 The happy celebration was held at a park on the Columbia River just west of Vancouver. Ashely and Ivan were two of seven young people baptised that day. They all wore white to be baptised, and then a shade of blue afterwards, and the ladies all wore head coverings as well.

 There was singing, preaching, praying, and then some time to take photos before the main event. This is Ivan's family, his father in the light blue coat (he was going to baptize them), his mother and his seven siblings, as well as Joy, Kirk and daughter Macy. It was a beautiful day, and we all enjoyed the beauty of the surroundings and the sunshine.
 Here is Ivan's father and Ashley as she prepares to be baptised in the cold water, in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. They were so kind to provide us with a translator, so we could follow along with the service.

 A special moment in her life....

Afterwards, they changed into dry clothes and received huge bouquets of flowers, along with kisses, hugs and congratulations from everyone. It was truly special to be there, and view this from another culture's perspectives. They really celebrate their Baptisms, in a way that we don't. After all this, (about two hours worth), they left to go and were then going to hold church and have communion. We left for home at that point, but will have another opportunity to fellowship with these folks as Ashley and Ivan will marry in the Russian church, in just three weeks. We are thrilled for her, and covet your prayers for this couple.

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