For 27 years, St Lukes have had the pleasure of providing a community meal to the people of the Manawatu in New Zealand.
Some require food, some need fellowship, and others just want to be loved. Sharing the love of our Lord and Saviour to these people is indeed a blessing. We do not always see the harvest of the Holy Spirit through Share & Care, but when we do, what a joy it brings to us all. (‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’ Galatians 6:9.)
Recently, a teenage member of a family who has attended Share & Care for many years mentioned that her 7-year-old sister Skyla would like to be baptised. Skyla’s mother, Lynette, is deaf and so communicating with her is difficult due to us not knowing sign language.
I contacted Dennis Mollet, who is a very valued member of St Lukes. We, together with Sharolyn, met with Lynette and her mother, who does not have hearing impediment and can sign. We talked about baptism and preparing a special service for Skyla.
The service was held on 18 September, after one of the Share & Care meals. It was open to all members of Share & Care and the Manawatu Parish. We decorated the church with balloons and streamers for the celebration.
The service was full of people wanting to support Skyla and her family and be part of this very special gift Jesus has given us. Almost all of those who had attended Share & Care moved from the hall into the church, which was very encouraging.
Dennis led the service and asked Lynette in sign language, ‘Do you present Skyla for holy baptism?’ Her response was both signed and expressed on her face.
After the service, each attendee received a piece of baptism cake and a tract with the Scripture, ‘Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these” Mark 10:13’.
Dennis had also shared the devotion at the Share & Care mealtime before the service, and it was only when the tracts arrived that he realised the Scripture on them was the one in which he had chosen to base his devotion on.
We want to give special thanks to the Lutheran Tract Mission staff, who at a relatively short request, ensured that we received the tracts in time. We also want to thank them for their kindness in not charging us the full postage cost for sending additional tracts that we ordered, treating us the same as an Australian district.
It is amazing what God can do in our lives. We continue to pray for Skyla and all these wonderful people at Share & Care that God may continue to touch their lives as he has with Skyla through her baptism.
We thank all our team at Share & Care who continue to serve God in this special ministry. How real and active God is in our lives. We just need to open our eyes.
Lawrence Satherley is a member of St Johns Manuwato Parish in Palmerston North, New Zealand.