The baptism journey

Tim Warner was glad no crocodiles were in that section of the river.

A trip to a bush church intensified Tim Warner’s heart and love for tribal ministry and inspired him in his quest to find the ministry God has for him.

Tim and Kat Warner and their family are in Mozambique studying culture and language while they pray for God to lead them to a specific ministry.

Tim has just arrived back from a trip to the bush. He made this journey to accompany his friend and be a part of encouraging and baptising 40 new believers who come from churches and rural areas of Mozambique. The man who accompanied Tim was his friend and a local pastor, a man who was involved in planting those churches.

Tim and the pastor arrived in the village on a Saturday, and were greeted by songs and praise to God from the believers there. After getting settled, they sat down to a generous bush version of chicken curry and rice.

“Eating the insides of a chicken is not so bad when you’re starving,” observes Tim.

Next, Tim and his pastor friend went to pay their respects to the village chief, bringing him gifts of tangerines, bread and filtered water. In return, the chief presented Tim with a chicken and some ground meal similar to cornmeal.

After the gifts were exchanged, Tim and his friend spoke to the chief concerning the baptisms they had planned, explaining to him what it means to follow Jesus. Later, they sat down with 18 church leaders and talked with them more about the meaning of baptism.

The church leaders shared their own testimonies of the great things that Christ had accomplished in their lives since they believed in Him. Many told about being saved from a hopeless life of witchcraft and worshipping dead ancestors.

“It was very encouraging to hear their testimonies,” Tim shares.

Sunday at 4 a.m. the meal preparations began for the after-baptism celebration. Two goats and five chickens were contributed for the meal.

When the group headed down to the river for the baptisms, Tim remembers hoping there were no crocodiles in that particular section of the water.

“The pastors of the congregations baptised over 40 people,” Tim shares. “And as each one was baptised, there was testimony given about the death and resurrection of Christ and the new life in Jesus that each one had found.”

“We came back from the river and said our good-byes,” Tim continues. “On the way home, we stuffed 15 extra people in the truck and gave them rides to villages scattered throughout the area. … Some church members had walked 10-12 hours to get to the baptism site.”

In this bush adventure, Tim had a great chance to see first-hand God’s faithful work in tribal churches, a very encouraging opportunity during this time that Tim and his wife, Kat, pray about what specific tribal ministry God has for them.

Tim plans another important trip in August. Tim and Kat have prayed about a specific people group that they may someday work with. This will be Tim’s first time to actually visit this group.

“Please pray for Tim,” Kat writes. “He is our ‘eyes’ for this possible future ministry.”

While you’re praying for the Warners, pray also about what God might have for you to do to reach a people group lost in animism and hopeless fear who has never heard the Good News about Jesus. Maybe God has a bush adventure waiting with your name on it.