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5. Baptism and church growth.

“The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1Pet. 3, 21).

The baptism service for our church always was joyful and unforgettable event. New souls decide to devote themselves to the Lord entirely. And it is fine. Angels in heavens rejoice, people who are baptized rejoice, we rejoice also — church, being the witness of made sacrament. If birthday in our church it is considered to be 2th November of 1992 year date of the first baptism (3th July of 1993 year) by right can be named by the first harvest, the first fruit, a crop. Thirteen persons have made decision to conclude a precept with the Lord by means of a water baptism.

july, 3, 1993

Brother Gennady for whom it was huge pleasure, as, however, for all members of V.Volochok church made baptism. After all this church sent the reapers on the turned white fields of the Udomlya earth. And God has blest undertakings. Glory to Him. Literally in the face of the new church was born. By the time of a baptism in church already was six members of the church which have arrived from other places. Plus thirteen people who were baptized, plus one more brother was baptized one month later in V.Volochok. Total church from nineteen persons. Truly God has grown and has taken care of The Church. Words are involuntarily recollected: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1Cor. 3, 6).

The baptism has been decided to spend on lake Kubycha as from two lakes nearest to a city it is more picturesque, and is more close to a city.

Has passed one more year of a life in the church rich, the sated life. The baptism of youth to which after that should become the basic motive power of church was a result of this year. And then, when there will be a generation of younger youth it, name senior. Eleven persons were baptized and have entered into a bosom earthly, and we trust and we hope as Universal church as it is told in the Writing: “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb. 3, 6).

july, 18, 1994

On memoirs of brothers and sisters, weather in day of the second baptism (on July, 18th 1994 year) was rainy, rainy. The sky has been completely tightened by clouds. Quite habitual for Udomlya day. But, despite it during the general prayer the sun has looked out because of clouds as if without wishing to disappear more behind clouds while the sacrament here comes true.

Lord’s Supper it has been originally decided to make directly here on the bank of lake. But because of a bad weather (the sun did not find in itself more forces to resist to clouds constraining it) the second sacrament should be transferred on apartment to sister Dasha. The church has grown, and apartments at us not so are great, therefore all sat and ate directly on a floor.

Baptisms of 1995 and 1996 year were not so numerous as a baptism of the last and next years. These years about three persons were baptized. For their this reason it is possible to name faster an exception, rather than a rule. And for a rule, probably, would be correct to accept those of year when ten or more persons were baptized. Such number it is possible to estimate a mid-annual gain of church.

Well here, we will tell, have started talking about numbers and at once somehow Spirit action is belittled, recollected history with David when it wanted to it to estimate the people Israel. Yes, of course, would be not correct to judge action Divine, being based on numbers though the numerical estimation so is close and clear to reason. But the Bible offers us absolutely other system of estimations which it is difficult, and at times even it is impossible to contain to carnal reason.

As example following texts from the Bible can serve: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luk. 12, 32). Or: “For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband” (Gal. 4, 27).

The fifth Baptism, brother Gennady as our church still yet has no pastor still does.

On 23rd of November 1997 year brother Aleksey Solov’ov has been dedicated to a pastor service and the following sixth baptism (on 15th of July 1998 year) was made by the pastor of Udomlya church. Clothes for the new pastor have not appeared. It was necessary to come into water in trousers from a suit and in a white shirt.

One more baptism was in summer of the same year. Just at this time in our church missionary Aleksander Drokin worked. Together with brother Gennady Gorbunov, possibility to make baptism has been given it.

In the following, 1999 year the baptism was made again by pastor Aleksey. This time sister Tatyana has sewed a cloak for a baptister. Same year one more baptism has taken place. The second this year, and under the absolute account the ninth.