|Source: Baptist Press|
A pair of cadets at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, N.Y., celebrated a day they are not likely to forget any time soon.
On Feb. 12, Brooke Parker and Zhaoxin (Jenny) Ma were baptized in the icy waters of the Hudson River by North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionary and Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) Director Joshua Austin.
When presented with the options of waiting till weather got warmer during the spring or being baptized in the campus chapel’s basement baptistry, Parker and Ma chose an unexpected third option.
Reflecting on her decision, Parker said, “The basement almost felt like hiding my faith as few people would be able to attend and celebrate with me the good things God has done and nobody would be able to just happen upon this event as they would if I were to be baptized outside. This would eliminate a big opportunity to share this experience and Christ with others who may not have previously considered attending.”
So, the indoor baptistry was eliminated as an option.
Ma remarked, “I didn’t want to wait any longer to show others what God has done for me and what God can do, which is why I chose to get baptized in the icy waters, I couldn’t wait any longer to show others all His greatness but also to proclaim to God that I am His, and I welcome Him into my heart, and I want to follow Him.”
With made up minds and the consent of the U.S. Military Academy’s chain of command, Austin baptized the cadets to a crowd of 60 onlookers and friends.
Preaching a short message in the frigid conditions of that February day, Austin shared from Ephesians 2 and invited his onlookers to be open to experiencing the free gift of grace God makes available to all.
After being baptized, Ma said, “I am placing myself and building my relationship with God above all, and I have never been more happy and joyful. I have fallen in love with life again, and it is because of God.”
Parker expressed similar gratitude stating she is elated to have rediscovered God’s grace.
Source: Baptist Press