Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Conversion convergence

Monday morning, just after I'd was completed saying Morning Prayer, I had a phone call from Amjad, a pastor friend of Hamid's, whom I was intending to call this day. They'd kept in touch since they met when he was waiting to be deported, and he proposes to attend the baptism this coming Sunday. We talked for half an hour, and it was good to have confirmation from someone who'd known Hamid longer than I, of the seriousness of the biblical quest and faith commitment that has led him thus far.

I was pleased to be able to invite him to take a share in taking Hamid through the baptismal interrogations in Urdu, his mother tongue. He will help me learn how to say the key words of baptism in Urdu. Church Warden Peter and Gwyneth (93), who has befriended Hamid since he started coming to church, will act as sponsors. I will give him a cross made of hardwood to wear around his neck and present it to him during the liturgy. It was given to me by an African member of the Geneva congregation twenty years ago, and represents the international nature of the faith in Christ crucified he is starting to share.

Today, I produced the appropriate liturgical text to share. It will need him to translating some texts for use on Sunday. He told me that apart from his day job, he has worked in ministry to people converting from Islam to Christianity for twenty years, since he himself was a convert. Thank heavens Britain is a place where he's free to help others to exercise their freedom to choose their own path of faith.

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