The Skype Baptism

The members of Macau Happy Church in Macau, China, lean forward in their pews, eager and smiling. As part of a church plant, they’re used to watching baptisms. But this is different. In fact, they’ve never seen anything like it before. 

They hear the gentle splashes made by Silvia’s feet as she steps into the baptismal tank. They feel the warmth of the radiant expression on her face as she emerges from the water. They talk to her as if she’s in the same room. But she’s not. She’s hundreds of miles away in Korea, and they’re sharing her joyous event on Skype. 

Silvia’s journey to this moment has been one of struggle. In 2008 she attended a series of evangelistic meetings presented by Han GhilRoh, a Pioneer Missionary Movement pastor from Korea who planted Macau Happy Church. Silvia attended Happy Church and even became a student at the local Adventist school. But she didn’t feel ready to become a Christian then. “I wasn’t able to sense God in my life or believe in Him,” she says. 

Fast forward to 2010. Pastor Joshua Shin, former youth director for the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, has come to Macau to conduct evangelistic meetings with Pastor Han. Again Silvia attends. But this time, as she listens to the messages and beautiful music, her heart is touched. She wants to be baptized right away, but the pastors encourage her to join a Bible study first so that she can gain a better understanding of God’s word. 

Silvia studies with Pastor Han for four months, then travels to the Ilsan English Church in Korea. There she meets with Pastor Shin and the Golden Angels, the volunteer musicians whose singing touched her so deeply at the meetings. She asks Pastor Shin to baptize her, and he contacts Pastor Han in Macau to make the necessary arrangements. Then, through Skype, her entire home church witnesses her commitment to Jesus. 

As Silvia breaks through the water into newness of life, she is enfolded in the warm smiles of both congregations. With tear-filled eyes she thanks God and her two church families for helping her find the joy of her life. 

Your donations to Global Mission have supported Pastor Han’s ministry and touched Silvia’s heart for eternity. Thank you! 

Special thanks to Pastor Tadaomi Shinmyo, Associate Coordinator of the Pioneer Missionary Movement, Northern Asia-Pacific Division.

About our cover photo

This Japanese girl is painting a banner for Vacation Bible School at her church. The modern Japanese writing system is a combination of many different scripts. These different sets of characters are used together in a particular way to construct sentences. The different scripts are traditionally used for specific parts of speech or types of words or sounds.

Eighty-four percent of Japanese are either Buddhist or Shinto. Christians remain a small percentage of the population, including 15,000 Seventh-day Adventists. 

Currently, we have 21 Global Mission projects in Japan. One of the projects supports a church plant in Toyota City that reaches out to thousands of Brazilian immigrants who work in the auto industry. More than 60 people attend this church plant every Sabbath and its membership is growing. Please continue to pray for and support our Global Mission projects in Japan. 

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of the Mission magazines. 

To support church planting in Northern Asia, please give to Fund #6610.

First Quarter 2011


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