A restart is a new beginning. When people surrender their life to God, it is a restart. They want to start a life completely with God and will start to walk through life with him as friend, father and counselor. This has only been made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. As a sign towards the seen and the unseen world, they get baptized in water – representing the old life, the old habits and sins washed away and starting entirely forgiven.
Exactly for this purpose, we held a Restart Festival on Easter Saturday. It took place under the roof on our Campus. About 400 people joined this special occasion. It was an evening celebration with a lot of worship. ND shared the four points which explain the Gospel in a very easy way: “God loves me. I have sinned. Jesus died for me. I need to decide to live with God.”
Later on, we had baptisms in our lake. It was beautiful to see, how over 30 people decided to follow God and were baptized with water. They not only received a brand new bible, but also personal prayer and blessings.
Let’s party! Within seconds after the baptisms, the roof turned into a spacious dance floor where we shook our bodies and celebrated the new believers as well as Jesus.
It is always an honour to be authorized to organize events. Why? Because it gives me the chance to lead an awesome group of people – truly a dream team – to set up a great event. I loved how the team had prepared and worked together. The atmosphere during the evening was phenomenal. Especially our worship leaders – some of them standing for the very first time on a stage and most of them never sang in front of hundreds of people – were so deeply connected with God and led perfectly through the entire time of praise.
However, my personal highlight were my friends who have decided to get baptized: my friend, my teammate from the technic team, some members from other teams, some very loyal teenagers, my friend’s father and even some people who had started coming to church not long ago.
There was also my friend, well advanced in pregnancy who had lost already two unborn babies before. She and her unborn were baptized and only a few days later, her healthy son was born.
On top of all, my Khmer teacher came to me while others were being baptized. With tears in her eyes, she whispered, she also wants to make this step. For seconds, I was speechless, having not expected this at all. She later told me more of her story: About one year ago, she met people from another church and was several times invited until she finally visited that church once. During the celebration she had goosebumps and was very moved by what the pastor was talking about. From then on, she started going to that church every now and then. However, her new belief and the decision to follow God brought some challenges with it. Her husband sometimes thinks she’s going to church too much. Sometimes he doesn’t allow her to go. They have many discussions about which is the right way. Usually they finally agree to disagree. It’s beautiful though, how she keeps standing up for her faith and continues to believe boldly. She had visited ICF every now and then before and was very happy when I invited her to our Easter Worship Night. And so finally, she decided there to go one step further and get baptized! 🙂