On 29th September, we had our first baptism service in our new building. Read below three of the testimonies of the young women who were baptised. Leya, Rebecca and Praise are all members of BCLC Youth.
"I’ve always had God in my life from a young age and I believed in Jesus and that he died on the cross to take away my sins. But because of the familiarity of the phrase, because my family is a Christian family, I never really understood how great God’s love actually is. Or how important it is to have a close relationship with Him, despite hearing it at home and at church.
In 2015, our youth group YBICS went to a Christian youth festival called Soul Survivor where my eyes were opened as I saw how much the youth loved God and praised Him just as I saw the adults do at church. Miracles were performed right in front of me and I could feel the Holy Spirit's power surrounding me.
"It suddenly became clear to me that I didn't have to wait. God could use me right now for worship, prayer, evangelism and so much more - anything."
As years went on and I was faced with difficulties and battles that I tried to face all on my own, last year being in one of the hardest years, until I realised that all I had to do was turn to God in prayer. I sometimes felt that God was trying to use me but I pushed the thought away because I thought I had to be older as I would be a better and more useful christian by then.
Margaret, one of my old youth leaders, told me that she felt God trying to tell me something through the verse Jeremiah 29:11, which is ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a hope and a future.”’ It suddenly became clear to me that I didn't have to wait. God could use me right now for worship, prayer, evangelism and so much more - anything. Any fears and anxieties that I have are overcome because Jesus is God and my love for God continue to grow daily as I come to know His awesomeness and wonder."
"I wasn’t sure about getting baptised, because it seemed like a massive thing. I never really thought I’d be ready for it. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten closer to God and he’s helped me a lot. When I was 13, I went through some things and I did some silly things, but He helped me through it. So that's why I want to get baptised today."
"I don't have a typical baptism story of I was not a Christian then I found God. I was fortunate enough to be born into a God-fearing family. Over the years I've been conditioned to go to church and to believe that God was the only one I should rely on.
Age eleven was not my best year with me rebelling against my parents. That was the year that my family decided to move church and my Mum found BCLC. Ever since then I have loved it here and there has never failed to make me feel like family. This church also introduced me to Soul Survivor. The first two years of Soul Survivor were experiences where I just took everything lightly.
But then my life took a real turn for the worse. I was very rebellious and mentally I was not in a good place. I was struggling in school, barely getting grades and I had friendship problems and it all affected me. I lost hope in God and started relying on friends to get me through things, not knowing they would make the situations worse.
In the third year of Soul Survivor, I asked God to speak to me because I was loosing faith. To my dismay, He did not and I was completely discouraged. However, God started showing himself to me. Even though I felt alone and I had lost everything and everyone I thought was my friend, God showed me they were only in my life to teach me a lesson, and that lesson was He's the only one that will be there for me when I'm all alone.
All of this gave me hope again and I was gradually getting closer to God. I soon realised that God has never failed me; I’ve passed every exam I’ve ever taken, he's giving me a loving family and most importantly given me life.
"I soon realised that God has never failed me; I've passed every exam I've ever taken, He's given me a loving family and most importantly given me life"
Before this year's Soul Survivor, my Mum had been pestering me about when I was going to get baptised but I always brushed it off. I used the faith that God gave me to go to this summer’s Soul Survivor, which was after my GCSEs and before results day. I asked God: “If you give me good results, I'll get baptised”!
During Soul Survivor a lot happened. A lot of built-up emotions that I thought I never had came up and many tears. This year’s Soul Survivor was the year that God really revealed himself to me but I had completely forgot the promise I have made with God until the day before results day. Results day came and I was scared. I opened my results and I burst into tears in shock and disappointment. I have not got the grades to get into my desired school or to do my desired subjects. I was angry at myself and angry at God. I thought to myself: “How could he have disappointment me like that?”
I prayed out of anger, desperation and upset, but He revealed to me two things. One, someone said to me, “God has a plan for you, but it may not be what you want." Two, I asked God for good results – which is what I got, not excellent results. I should be grateful because not many people have the opportunity to pass all their subjects. Therefore he fufilled his part of the promise and it was time for me to fulfil my part of the promise.
I completely brushed it off until Abigail asked again in YBICS if I wanted to get baptised still and I realised I had to fulfil my end of the promise. That was one of the many reasons I decides to get baptised. The main reason was to declare God’s faithfulness in my life. He has surrounded me with a loving family and amazing friends. Thank you!"