In Australia West, baptisms were held at the houses of worship of the Local Congregations of Perth and Melbourne, Victoria on September 22, 2023. Brother Felix Santos, assistant district supervising minister, officiated at the former venue; Brother Manuel Villapane Jr., district edification overseer, at the latter.
The ministers emphasized to the candidates for baptism the biblical lesson about remaining firm in the faith despite hardships and temptations. They further exhorted the would-be brethren to remain dedicated and loyal to God’s teachings written in the Bible for them to remain guided in their lives.
“Being baptized was a remarkable experience for me because, as I emerged from the water, I felt a profound sense of renewed life as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and I was filled with peace and joy,” Raymark Blanco, a newly-baptized member from the Local Congregation of Fremantle, Western Australia, expressed. “It’s a lifetime commitment to live according to the true faith. The support and love from the brethren strengthened that resolve. My baptism is a moment that I will always cherish and will hold close to my heart.”
Angel Yesha Cupay, from the same congregation and the one who invited Raymond, shared her resolve in helping in the work of propagation, “I continue to help in the work of propagation because of my unwavering faith and zeal in upholding my God-given duty of spreading the true faith to more people.”
In a related development, baptisms in the Ecclesiastical District of Australia East happened a week later, on September 29 and 30.
On the first day, Brother Seth Gutierrez, district supervising minister, led the baptismal gathering at the house worship of the Local Congregation of Sydney, New South Australia.
The following day, Brother Orlando Macayan, assistant district supervising minister, officiated at the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Brisbane, Queensland, with that of the Townsville, Queensland Local Congregation connected through videoconferencing, and its resident minister, Brother Marvin Razon, who was assigned to baptize the candidates for baptism, were gathered there.
In their Bible-based homily, the officiating ministers encouraged the baptismal candidates to lead a life of holiness, which is among God’s commandments that they must always be seen fulfilling.
“It felt great after my baptism,” said Aidan Taladua from Townsville. “I firmly believe that my sins have been forgiven.”
“I feel so happy today for my son,” Mark Taladua, Aidan’s father, expressed. “We in our family thank our Lord God for this blessing our son has received.”
“Like what we heard in the biblical lesson, it was made clear that the three primary benefits of being baptized inside the true Church Of Christ are: becoming among Christ’s disciple, being forgiven of sins, and the greatest blessing is receiving salvation on Judgment Day,” Brother Marvin Razon, resident minister in Townsville, explained. “These are among the reasons Church members do not stop sharing their faith with their fellowmen, for they understood the truth, that God desires all people to also know it to be saved,” he added. — With reports from Jennelin Guanzon and Lorrie Kate Salomon of INC News Section