On a warm and sunny afternoon of October 2, 2021, three young souls – a young man and two young ladies, made a covenant with the Lord through water baptism in Lake Simcoe at Innisfil, Ontario.
Our church in Eastern Canada will remember the summer of 2021 as a summer that was different from any other summer. In the beginning, everything looked promising: The COVID-19 measures became somewhat relaxed allowing for planning of several youth activities. In July the youth went on a camping trip to the scenic Algonquin Provincial Park in Northern Ontario. Middle of August the conference organized a lovely summer youth retreat at Shalom by the Lake.
However, the weeks that followed brought much distress and pain to some of our brethren. Several church members got infected with SARS-Cov2 virus: Some had mild symptoms, some moderate, some needed hospital care. Sadly, we have lost two elderly brethren in the battle with this pernicious disease. This illness caused us to cancel the annual spiritual conference scheduled for the Labor Day weekend (September 3-5). At the annual conference we planned to conduct baptism of several, mostly young souls.
As we prayed and sought divine help, God’s mighty hand brought healing to our people. We approached the fall, but our young baptismal candidates did not give up on the outdoor baptism. God granted us warm weather as we entered the early fall. On a short notice we scheduled the baptism for the Sabbath of October 2. For the baptismal site we chose Lake Simcoe at Innisfil, Ontario. The day of the baptism was just perfect – sunny and unusually warm for the season.
More than eighty members and visitors gathered on the shores of Lake Simcoe to witness the water baptism of three young souls – Jacob Hanuska (the son of Bro. Dalibor and Sr. Jasmine Hanuska), Marta Sirbu (the daughter of Bro. Marian and Sr. Magda Sirbu), and Irina (Ina) Lukic (the daughter of Bro. Walter and Sr. Tanja Lukic). Water baptism was performed by pastors Marian Sirbu and Walter Lukic with the assistance of pastors Dorin Burca and David Zic. In the service that followed at the Toronto Church, the three new young members were received into the church fellowship. Pastor David Zic exhorted the new members to take the rights and duties of the church membership seriously and to use every gift given them by God to support the body of Christ in its mission. The program was enriched by beautiful instrumental and vocal music. The brethren felt that this wonderful event in some way substituted for the annual conference.
This summer our church in Eastern Canada has gone through a major trial, yet the fall has brought much joy. We express deep gratitude to the Lord for restoring health to our brethren, and particularly for bringing into His fold three young, dedicated souls. Our experience could be well expressed by the words of prophet Isaiah: “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3).