There is always a surge of excitement around Beach Baptism. Cheering as friends and family emerge from the water in public declaration of Jesus' love never fails to be a special experience for all of us. This past Sunday was no exception!
In fact, it was exceptionally special for one man in particular, and the beauty of the Christ-like community that's displayed at Beach Baptism began long before his toes hit the sand. His encounter with a 14-year-old boy on the bus to the beach was so filled with compassionate, selfless, Christ-like love that he wanted to share it with us. This 14-year-old servant was Ian Anderson, a silly, energetic student who's been heavily involved with Surge (Summit's middle school ministry) for the past 3 years. The way Ian followed God's call and truly embodied Jesus to a total stranger on Sunday is a remarkable example of Christ’s love. We wanted to give our congregation the opportunity to see it through the email Joseph sent to one of our staff members...
My name is Joseph Gueci. I recently began attending Summit and I was able to attend the beach baptisms yesterday.
I was able to catch a ride on the bus from the Herndon Campus, and something happened that I am COMPELLED to bring to your attention so that you might reach out to the young man.
I am legally blind. I made that clear when I signed up at the time of the bus departure. I'm usually hesitant to let people know about my problem. But, I am comfortable revealing this at Summit.
When I got on the bus there was this young man who sat next to me, across the aisle. He had asked me about my vision and how long I've been without normal sight as we waited for the bus to arrive.
He mentioned that he was part of the youth group ministry. His name is Ian.
I explained to him what my actual sight is like and showed him a picture of what my particular blindness looks like.
He asked me if I had been in the water since I'd lost my vision. It was a reality that I hadn't considered when I signed up for the trip. I haven't even been in a pool since my eye infection, 3 years ago!
I wasn't sure what I was going to do.
And then, as we were arriving, he said something I will NEVER forget... His words were, "I'm concerned about you going in the water by yourself. I'm going to go in with you to make sure you're ok. I'll stay with you for as long as you want." AND HE DID!
He went as far as to count down from three every time a wave was approaching so that I could brace myself.
And, then he led me back to my towel and eventually up to the service.
I can only describe this 14 year old young man in one way. He is CHRIST LIKE.
He did for me what Jesus would do for a person who cannot see, He made himself become my eyes.
In all truthfulness, I surrendered my life to our Lord on November 24, 1981. In those 36 years, I have NEVER come across another human being with such an amazing heart.
I feel that the way he treated me is an amazing testimony of the love that I am finding at Summit.
With that said, I'd like to ask you to reach out to this young man and let him know how very, VERY important his act of kindness was.
I'm sure there was not a single dry eye in Heaven as they witnessed a pure love, one the likes of which our Lord instructed us to show, was shown to a legally blind stranger.
I am forever changed by what happened yesterday. And, I now KNOW that our Lord led me to Summit.
We love getting to be a part of Beach Baptism celebrations with our church family! Take a look at all of the incredible pictures from the day right here.
Kim Clark is the Student Ministries Coordinator at the Herndon Campus. If you would like to learn more about Summit Student Ministries and ways you could get involved, she would love to hear from you! You can email Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.