Earlier this year, Henry announced that he was ready to get baptized. It's something we've talked with him about for years, and while he had given his life to the Lord, he just was never ready to 'take the plunge'.
We talked to the church and got him signed up. The week before he was scheduled to be baptized, Sam and I (along with Henry) met with the youth pastor and talked through everything. Henry had all the right answers but still seemed to be missing something. A few days later we were talking through what Henry would say in front of the church. We had the best conversation! Henry was a little caught up in trying to do all the right things, thinking that he somehow had to earn his salvation. Sam and I encouraged him, shared Bible passages with him and prayed with him. He left that conversation 100% secure in his salvation, and confident of what he wanted to say.
The morning of the baptism, Henry was NERVOUS. He doesn't like to speak in front of big groups and was dreading that part. When we got to the church, we met with the pastor who talked Henry and the others through the morning's activities. We learned that Henry would be the second baptism, followed by our friend's daughter Skylar. It was a relief to us all that we wouldn't have wait very long!
We found seats up front (the VERY front row, in fact!), and Dave and Mary Beth came to share in the celebration with us. There were a few worship songs, and then the first girl was baptized. Henry held my hand (something he just doesn't do all that often anymore) as he was getting more nervous by the minute.
Next, Henry was called up to the stage. He froze a little as he started to get up, then he put his head up, stood up, and walked boldly up there. Sam followed and stood behind him. Pastor Lewis introduced Henry and gave him the microphone. Henry introduced himself, gave his age (12), and launched into a beautiful speech. He glanced once at his notes as he got started, but then didn't need to look at them again. He shared Romans 10:9, which states that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. He said, "it's as simple as that!" and encouraged others to make the same choice he had. Then Sam took the microphone, said how proud he was of Henry, commented on the fact that salvation is truly that simple, but walking it out can be the difficult part, and then he baptized Henry.
They left to get changed into dry clothes. When Henry came back, he told me with shining eyes that he wasn't even nervous up there! He said as soon as they called his name he felt at peace and ready to go. I am so proud of him! Pastor Lewis was impressed as well. After all the baptisms, he started his sermon by saying, "Well, I guess I don't really have to say anything after Henry Hasz's sermon this morning."
After church we went to lunch at Olive Garden to celebrate. Dave and Mary Beth went with us before heading back to Willis. What an amazing weekend!