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Riverbank Redemption

by Crossworld
in Church, Salvation-baptism, Ecuador, Story
“You can’t baptize that man!”
ECUADOR — Water gurgled on the rocks below as the group of 70 people made their way to the riverbank. A time of prayer and singing under a thatched roof building had just finished, and the community felt united.

An anxious woman approached Crossworld worker Dan. “You can’t baptize that man!” she insisted, gesturing to Carlos, a nearby believer.

“Why not?” Dan asked, surprised by her vehemence.

“Because he killed my father!”

Dan felt surprised, but calmly stated, “Carlos has asked for forgiveness from the Lord and God has forgiven him.”

Carlos joined them, just as the woman pointed to him again. “You killed my father!”

He remembered well the drunken brawl that had resulted in her father’s death, regretting it often in the 50 years since it had happened. Saddened, Carlos asked the woman, “Will you forgive me?”

After only a moment’s hesitation, the woman spoke, saying the words she had contemplated for 50 years: “I forgive you.”

Dan felt relief as the unity of the group returned and they continued to the baptism service at the river. Church leaders baptized nine people that day, presenting a very physical representation of the forgiveness that God had given them.

Italicized name was changed to protect identity.

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