John and Bethany Arndt

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Monthly Archives: October 2008

holy water, the real kind

October 31st, 2008 by | 1 Comment

Last weekend I was moved. Yes, I was moved as I held the hand of a beautiful woman who refuses to let AIDS define her. With tears streaming down her cheeks and feeble knees jittering in the cold ocean, she speaks of her heart’s thankfulness to Jesus; the one who has come to her with this Love. This Love that has made her clean, this Love that has given her a new family, this Love that has provided new means for her to feed her son. Vovo dropped to her knees and went forward, below the surface of the clear blue green, and she rose back up.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; she knows hope, she knows peace, her soul is redefined.

I was further stirred as I looked into the young eyes of another, who only two months earlier was contemplating suicide. Stella had just arrived in South Africa and was homeless, foodless, and friendless, having just fled her homeland of Zimbabwe. To compound her desperation, she also had just given birth when we met. Yet here she was on this day, beaming with excitement, because she has been found, she too, has been rescued by this Love; this Love that thrives on giving second, third, fourth, and seventy seven chances. Before she goes under the water that symbolizes new devotion, she announces that Jesus is washing all her fear away.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, fear is fading, security is found. Her heart knows his heart.

What an incredible honor it was to baptize these beautiful ones and several others, who are members of simple churches in Masiphumelele; and how overwhelming it has been to see Jesus gently and yet boldly invade their lives. Their gratitude was tangible, the gratitude to the one who rescues, delivers, protects and defends the weak.

Stella also wanted her two month old son, Tami to be dedicated to the Lord. So under the shining bold son, standing ankle deep in the Indian Ocean, we dedicated this precious life to God. We prayed that Tami would know Him as his Father. This was an extra special moment for me, as Tami and Stella were some of Baby Safe’s first clients, when I received word that a girl from Zim had abandoned her baby in a field next to Masi. Stella had done this on the way home from the hospital in a moment of panic, but she went back for him. My heart was bursting as I held this little one, whose life holds unlimited potential. I felt overwhelmed by God’s heart for this family. That he has singled them out, he has come along side them, as He truly is their only hope; and this hope does not disappoint.