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Baptism June 2, 2019

LEFC baptized 15 people in the Lititz Springs on June 2.  

 Front Row Left to Right: Madison Tommasi, Mikaela Archuleta, Ally Hall, Ethan Weaver, Jazzlin Sanders, Lucy Zimmerman, Nathan Manning.  

Back Row Left to Right:  Ciana Esbenshade, Ronnie Sanders, Duncan McKay, Alexis Pelland, Phil Champagne, Hanna Galen, Brianna Bartholomew, Olivia Himes.

Madison Tommasi

When I was five years old, I heard my brother and sister talking about what it meant to be a Christian, but I didn’t understand everything. I asked my mom to explain to me how I can become a Christian and she explained it to me. 

So, I prayed with my mom and asked Jesus into my heart and asked him to forgive me for all the bad stuff I had done. Today I choose to be baptized to show the world I’m a Christian and proud of it!

Mikaela Archuleta

Hi, my name is Mikaela Archuleta and I’m 11 years old. I let Jesus into my heart when I was about 5 years old. Each Sunday we would get a card asking us to think about where we were with our relationship with Jesus. Every time I would fill it out saying I still have questions about Jesus. But one time when I was five years old, I wanted Jesus to be my forever friend. I prayed with my church leader and asked Jesus to be my forever friend. 

I try to be a positive person, a friend to everyone, kind, and honest.  I know I am not perfect, but God is always there with me.

One of the reasons I want to get baptized is I want my friends to be comfortable to talk about Jesus with me. I also want them to ask me questions about Jesus if they don’t quite believe in Jesus yet.

I know that God uses regular people to do his work. I don’t know what my purpose is yet, but I do know that I will always try new things and honor him in everything I do. That is why my favorite verse is Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Allyson Hall

My relationship with Jesus began when I was three. I would spend time with my Pop Pop and he would always tell me stories about how great God and Jesus were and how they helped the earth. 

 Over time I learned to ask God into my heart. He is always there for me to talk to about whatever is troubling me.  Jesus helps me by giving me peace when rough things happen in my life, like when my first dog Rocco died and when my Dad and Grandma got cancer. 

 He helps to make me strong and I love him for all he does and has already done for me. 

Ethan Weaver

Hi, my name is Ethan Weaver I am a strong believer in Christ.  I am 11 years old, and I go to Bonfield Elementary School. I have always grown up in a Christian family. I have always gone to church and always had a faint idea for what it meant to be a follower of Christ, but I never really became a Christian until I was about 5 years old.  I faintly remember lying on my bed one evening and thinking about a Sunday School lesson that I had heard recently about accepting Christ as our savior. I don’t remember all the details of that evening, but I do remember then accepting Christ into my heart that evening.  

 After accepting Christ, I really grew in my relationship with God and I have learned a lot about him and his word. Two people that have really helped me in my walk with Christ are my mom and dad.  They have always helped me understand the bible and taught it to me my whole life. One thing Christ has done for me is take my great grandma home with him in the summer of 2017. I know it sounds weird to ask for someone to die, but my grandma was suffering and there was really no sign of improvement.  It was also very comforting knowing that she was going to heaven, and that she died very peacefully.       

One of my favorite verses in the bible is Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  One reason I like that verse is because it reminds me that even when I’m going through a hard time or don’t think I can do it.  It reminds me that I can if I put my trust in the lord.

I believe that Jesus was the real son of God that God sent to die on a cross to save us from our sins and then rose on the third day.  One reason I want to be baptized today is to show everyone that I am a follower of Christ and that he is the center of my life.

Jazzlin Sanders

What God means to me is he takes care of me. He is my everything.  When I have nightmares, I pray to God and he helps me feel safe. I look forward to what God has in store for my future.

Lucy Zimmerman

Kimberly and Merle were told by God to adopt a child from China.  I was waiting in China for my family.  I was adopted and became a Zimmerman in 2013.

My family told me about Jesus and the Bible, and I wanted to have Jesus too.  I accepted Jesus into my heart and life on February 6, 2018.

This was my second adoption.  This time I was adopted into God’s family.  When I accepted Jesus, God became my Heavenly Dad and my Savior too.

I want to be baptized because I want to show people that I have Jesus in my heart, and I want to be a follower of Jesus.

Nathan Manning

When I was five, I was diagnosed with a red dye allergy.

When the reaction happened, I was in my room after getting tucked into bed for the night. We had just had slushies after my brother’s baseball game. When I started feeling really itchy and weird, I got really scared and I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know what an allergy was or what could happen. 

So, I prayed that I would be OK, then I went to tell my parents that I didn’t feel good. My parents called the doctor after medicine didn’t help. The doctor said to go to the emergency room. They gave me more medicine. Mom prayed for me on the way. When we arrived at the hospital Mom checked me again and found that my hives were getting better. Then she made me sit in her office for a few hours to be sure I stayed well before going home. It was a late night! I believe that God heard my prayer to make me better.

Since Jesus has the power to raise Himself from the dead, he also has the power to heal me. His power is so big, that he has saved me from my sins because I have confessed with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is Lord.

Thank you to my LEFC KidMin Shepherds for helping me memorize this verse and understanding how Jesus saves people. 

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in hour heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Ciana Esbenshade

I grew up in a Christian home, so I knew about Jesus. I attended youth group at my church. One day at youth group I felt a tugging at my heart. When I felt a tugging at my heart, I told my youth leader that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart and that same night my youth leader prayed with me and led me to ask Jesus into my heart.

I came home from youth group and I told my mom that I asked Jesus into my heart at youth group. Then I read my Bible and prayed with Jesus and then after I did that, I knew Jesus was in my life as my Lord and savior. Asking Jesus into my heart was the best day of my life.

 And now I love Jesus and I have a good relationship with him. I want to be baptized today to walk closer with God. And I am ready to take my next step of faith today as I walk with God and become closer with him. Being baptized makes me feel happy and makes me want to live closer with God.

Ronnie Sanders

I have had a relationship with Jesus my entire life. My Mother always had me and my sisters in Church what seemed like every day as a child. There are many times that He has shown me who He is and what He can do as I grew into a teenager and young adult, from the stories in the Bible and the acts taken in my life in real time by God through Jesus & the Holy Spirit.

It would be when things are going good, that I would take off on my own and try to see what I can do by myself. Every time I did this, things would go bad, sometimes quicker than others. This became a roller coaster relationship for many years, one in which Jesus stayed consistent no matter how many times I wavered or switched on him.

The point where I had enough and wanted to be consistent in my relationship with Jesus happened when my current wife and I split up. At the time we were not married. We had been together for around 7 years up until this point. Just like my relationship with Jesus, my wife and I have had a roller coaster relationship as well. At the time we lived in NC and everything from the job to the kids to food on the table became overwhelming and we could not see a solution to keep us together at the time.

We needed to reset, and she was from PA, so she moved back home, and I moved in with my mom in NC as that is where I am from. During this down time to rebuild and move back together we actually BROKE UP for REAL. I did not see that coming nor did I see us getting back together based on everything that led up to that moment, as if that was not enough to keep us together what would?

I kept this to myself for a week before me and my mom talked about it. When she and I talked it was like a wall had dropped and all the emotions I felt rushed in. I could not hold back the tears and cried like a baby in my mother’s arms. She told me it would be alright, to read the Bible and pray. I did and I asked that if He could fix this situation and bring it back together that I would never leave him again and always seek him. I would seek him first always.

 Since then I have done that and continue to do so every day. Things are for the better and I have been given more than I could have ever asked for or dreamed of. I will continue the journey forward with Jesus without question, accomplishing whatever is asked of me or placed in front of me to complete. For this I am being baptized to show the world that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and will never leave him again! Thank you, Lord! 

Duncan McKay

When I was around five years old, I was at my old church, LAC, learning about Jesus and what he does for us. My Sunday School teacher, Mrs.Julian, gave us bead necklaces to make which showed us what Jesus can do for you.

The one bead, which was the white bead, really stuck out to me. I asked Mrs.Julian what the white bead meant, and she said it reminded us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The white reminds us about how Jesus made our hearts clean of sin. Our hearts are like the black bead, full of sin without Jesus’s blood. She then told us that we can become followers of Christ by accepting him into our heart.

I thought that sounded really cool, so I asked her how. She told me that she could help me by praying with me and I accepted him into my heart. That day changed my life because I had Jesus inside me! Hallelujah! I have been a follower of Christ to this day. I can talk to Him if I have anything that is troubling me or just a prayer or praise.

I would like to get baptized today to announce to the public that I am a follower of Christ! I have been looking forward to being baptized for a while now and am excited that today is the day.

My favorite bible verse that I am going to share is Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, For I am with you; Do not be dismayed, For I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Alexis Pelland

For the first six years of my life it was just my mom and I, until my sister Ally was born.  The three of us would occasionally go to church.  Growing up, I knew about Jesus and knew the stories, but I had trouble believing that he was real.  I didn’t understand how people developed a relationship with Jesus and I didn’t understand why he wasn’t answering my prayers.

 It wasn’t until my stepdad Phil entered my life, when I finally realized that Jesus had sent someone so amazing to care for my family and me.  As my relationship with Phil grew, he showed me how to create a relationship with Jesus. Joining LEFC was one of the best decisions that my family has made.  Being here has shown me that Jesus does have a plan for me and as long as I put my trust in him, he will be here for me through everything. 

Phil Champagne

Jesus and God were always a big part of my life even when I was a child.  My parents took me to church all the time and taught me to honor and love God as my creator and Jesus as my savior.  However, I never really understood Jesus’ true love and power until I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. 

Through that tough ordeal Jesus was always there to comfort me and make me stronger.  I began to pray more and talk to him daily.  He gave me peace and light when things seemed dark. 

Just recently my mother was diagnosed with cancer and is going through difficult times.  Nothing makes me feel better and more at peace than when I talk to him and pray about the things that are troubling me.  Jesus came to me in a true time of need and I have never felt closer to him than I do now. 

Hannah Galen

I honestly don’t remember my life before I accepted Jesus into my life because I was only five or six when it happened. I grew up in a Christian home and have attended church all my life. When I decided to accept Jesus into my heart, I remember asking my mom questions about what it meant to accept Jesus into my life and how to do it. 

From that point on I lived the “typical” Christian life. I didn’t truly know what it meant to be a Christian because I was so young, and I began to understand the true meaning when I started attending youth group in middle school. I was surrounded by a strong group of believers who taught me what it really means to be a Christian and live for God.

All throughout my life I was taught that as Christians we will experience trials in our lives, but we need to cling to God during those times. I would say that I was never truly challenged in my walk with God until I found out that my cousin had committed suicide on August 11, 2017. I was completely devastated and shocked that I was experiencing this. The night I found out, I remember sitting on my knees crying and begging God to take this away and to not let it be true. I didn’t understand how a loving God could allow something so horrible to happen to me and my family. I was so angry at the world and at God for putting me through such terrible pain, and I couldn’t understand what the purpose could be. It has been nearly two years since that day and I honestly struggle with all those questions still, but I know that God’s plan is sovereign and one day his purpose will shine through all the darkness and pain. 

After this happened, I felt like God was placing it on my heart to share my story with others to make a difference and what God can do in the darkest of times. A verse that has stuck with me since that day is Romans 8:18 which says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” This verse means a lot to me because it affirms that God’s glory will be revealed to us in the end no matter how horrible the circumstances we may encounter in life. God never promised us that our lives on earth would be easy because at one point or another we will experience suffering and pain, but in the end God’s plan is always the best.

Brianna Bartholomew

I am Brianna Bartholomew.  I am 13 years old.  When I was 10 my cousin had passed away.  My family struggled with this loss. 

After Alec had passed, my aunt and uncle decided to foster a little boy named Sasha.  He came to visit us twice and our family grew to love him.  My aunt and uncle wanted to adopt him, but they were not able to because Sasha’s dad came back into the picture.  Finally, they were paired with a little boy from China.  They adopted him and named him Lian. 

God has shown me to never lose hope and when he is being quiet, he is doing great things for my future. 

Another time in my life when God revealed himself to me that made me realize he was there was when I was 12 and I had to go to a hospital.  I was only able to see my parents for one hour a day for four days.  At night, I would cry because I was scared.  I would eventually calm down and fall asleep.  I feel like God at that moment was saying calm down my child, it is time to rest.  I feel he really helped me through that hard time. 

I am ready to be identified in Christ and live a life worshiping God.

Olivia Himes

Before the Holy Spirit entered my life, I didn’t really understand the whole concept of “Jesus really loves me, and I should live for him.”

In 2017, I went to a Christian summer camp that I had been going to since third grade. On the last night of camp, the speaker was talking about accepting Jesus into our hearts. When he said that, my heart started pounding, and I started to sweat. For some reason, I was scared to death! It was because I wasn’t going to see God. That thought scared me. So, I went out with my counselor to the dining hall, and I asked Jesus into my heart.

I think that my accepting Jesus into my life has changed me for the better and has definitely matured me spiritually. I have a better understanding of what the Bible says and what I learn in church. I also have a greater interest in reading His Word and praying.

A favorite Bible verse that I have is Psalm 23:1 where it says, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” I usually go to that verse when I’m feeling stressed or scared, because it’s telling me that Jesus is watching over me and taking care of me.

I’m getting baptized because I want to profess my faith and I want to tell everyone about my love for Christ.

Baptism Jan. 27, 2019

The following testimony is from the baptism during church services on Jan. 27, 2019.

Hailey Heft

I am only 12 years old and I experienced things in my life that most 12-year old kids have not experienced. 

I don’t see my parents and I live with my Grandmother.

Before I moved in with my Grandmother, we would visit her and we would go to church and pray.  I always believed in Christ but every time I left Church, I felt like someone was hugging me.

I came closer and closer with Christ when I moved in with my Grandma and I had more opportunities to nurture my faith.  Going to church every Sunday and youth group help me to understand more about Christ.

I asked Jesus to live in my heart after a good lesson in Sunday School. 

A couple years ago I saw people get baptized at Lititz Springs Park and I knew I wanted to do that.

Today because of my commitment to live for Jesus, I am following through with his commandment to be baptized as an outer expression of my faith.