I turned around. "Hannah, can you take this for me?" I held out my Karen bag.
She took it, and I stepped out farther, closer, trying to get a good place to use the machine in my hands. Water swirled eddies around me and I laughed to myself. Boy, in America, people NEVER do this kind of thing.
Pastor Shem lined all the baptismal candidates up in the shore, had a prayer, and then, one by one, 20 young people were dipped into the river.
One of them has been battling this decision for over a year.
One is paralyzed.
Many more have made the choice even though their parents don't want them to.
Others are here whose parents were against it at first, but then changed their minds.
Each is precious.
Each is now baptized.
You see the smiles.
Hear the song.
Hear the scripture readings.
Watch the act.
Feel the glow.
And you know. You just know.
Somewhere in Heaven, bells are pealing madly.
I heard the bells of Heaven yesterday.
I saw the smile of Jesus.
For a moment, I walked those streets, untouched my mortals as yet.
And I felt the warm glow that comes from watching children...YOUR children... your students... Take their first breath...
As a Christian.
I can't quite fathom it.
It deserves far more words than I have in me.
Only two will really suffice for the moment.
Yes, praise God.
We ought to hear the bells of Heaven ring more often.
We ought to make the bells of Heaven ring...
There is no greater privilege.
And, after all, we'll hear Heaven's bells for eternity.
Might as well get used to hearing them now.
Eh Mu Dah (in the green shirt) and another student, laughing because I'm aiming a camera at them.
Thara Timothy and his little girl, Adrina.
Eh Do Paw contemplating the post during church service.
Down at the river...
It gives me such satisfaction to see "gohlahwas" wearing Karen clothes. Not sure why.
Everyone waiting in the shade for Pastor Shem to find a good place to baptize the students.
By the edge of the river.
One by one... Each of them buried in this familiar body of water, and rising again to a new life... It choked me up. These precious children... many of them making this choice even though their families are angry. God smiled...He still smiles. Oh, how blessed.
Daw Koo Say, whose story you can find by going to Sharon's blog. What a beautiful girl, a beautiful story... Christ has some special work for this young lady to do, I'm sure.
I couldn't help but giggle. The farther into the baptism we got, the farther into the water Michael got. We'll just overlook the fact that I was in almost as far as he was. No, it's not a problem to get wet like that over here. I'm going to miss that.
20 more souls...20 more workers... May the Lord watch over each of them and bring them to His Kingdom at last.
And these ones are all my students. Talk about heart full of gratitude and pride...
Saw Yo Hsu (on the right) and a friend
After the baptism, we stayed by the river for a long time, taking pictures.
Thay Thay Khai and Naw Saw Pwe
Mu Loe Poe, one of the best English-speaking 6th graders
Little July Paw, who's always at the top of her class. 6th grader as well
Michael and Daw Koo Say
Eh Paw See, a fifth grader
Sharon and little friends
I'm going to miss getting hugs around my waist because someone can't reach any higher...
Mu Wa Wa, 6th grader and champion giggler
Saw Kho No, a 5th grader. In English, his Karen name means "Enoch."
Sharon and I...
A former student, I think
A KG girl
Stunningly beautiful day...
Nasty little creatures... pretty to look at, but don't touch 'im. He'll make you regret it.
The Ross's house, where we ate Sabbath lunch
Peh Pae Wa, Thara EhGuhNyaw's littlest
AY, our program on Sabbath afternoon, put on by grades 6 and 8.