Recently I had the privilege of spending a few days at Oodnadatta at the invitation of Auntie Denise and the Uniting Church Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in SA and the local church community. If you're travelling from down south you head towards Alice Springs until you get to Coober Peedy, hang a right then drive for a couple hours more. It seems the Spirit has been moving up there and through the remarkable ministry of Pastor Julia a number of young people wanted to be baptised. We had a few evenings gathering for worship, teaching and fellowship on the church 'block'. There's no actual church building, just a piece of land in the middle of town with a stage some lighting, a keyboard and a PA. Seems to be enough!
But where to do the baptisms? No problem, Julia replied, 'we brought a pool'. So on Saturday morning we erected a pool. I think the Chinese cousin of the person who designs Ikea instructions did them for this pool!
We've got a pool, where's the water? Ah, the local fire truck does a couple of trips to the local bore.
And the candidates? Those ancient words move me deeply every time: 'May the Lord open your ears to receive God's Word, and your mouth to proclaim God's praise'.
And then the sacrament itself. I'd been expecting about 20 candidates but after 20 I looked up and the queue had extended as another 10 young people decided to put their trust in the One who makes all things new. Thanks be to God!