Guam, Micronesia: The Guam First Church of the Nazarene had planned to hold a baptism service around Easter time 2020, but then the COVID-19 crisis hit the island. The church could not meet and the beaches were all closed to the public. The momentum died out, but the winds of the Spirit cannot be contained.
New Plans and New Beginnings
As the church began to meet again in 2021, God had new plans. Pastor David Ackerman asked the congregation one Sunday morning, how many would like to be baptized. Several people expressed interest. “Let’s plan a special service at the beach!” the church board and the pastor excitedly decided, setting a date in May hoping that the restrictions would be lifted.
The following Sundays, Pastor David invited people interested in being baptized to a special class. Twelve people showed up, from age 8 to adult. The church was excited and so Pastor David. He then went to the Parks Department and obtained a permit to use one of the park shelters. There he learned that 50 people were the limit for this type of event. This was a problem because the church has been running over 70.
The event faced yet another problem, heavy rains poured on the island prior to the planned service. According to the week’s forecast, it will be raining the whole week and so more prayers were lifted to God.
Prayers become Miracles
Just the day before the planned service, the governor lifted the number to 100 for mass gatherings, and for that Sunday, all the rain stayed to the east. Praise God, because the beach baptism was held under beautiful weather and there were over 70 people who came to the service. This was indeed a God-blessed event.
Rhonda Ackerman shares, “God touched this special event in so many ways. It is special to me because this is the first time I have participated in such an event. To stand beside my brothers and sisters who decided to follow Jesus and assist my husband in baptizing them, was a joyous experience I hope to share with them again soon.”
God is working in the lives of those who were baptized and of our church family. After a year of struggle for so many, including the church, 2021 has brought a refreshing wind of the Holy Spirit. Some of the newly baptized asked for Bibles and are working through Basic Bible Studies, by Dr. Chic Shaver. The church people are saying, “Let’s do this again!” So, the church is praying that God will continue moving among the people, drawing new people to the fellowship, and bringing revival and renewal on the island of Guam.
Submitted by: Dr. David Ackerman, Senior Pastor Guam First Church of the Nazarene