“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.
Sabbath 6th of August 2022 was a blissful Sabbath, not only because it was the one day in the week that we got to meet in God’s presence and forget the worries and troubles of the past six days, but because of two other reasons. First, we woke up to the beautiful sun shining (which has been a very rare occurrence over the past few months here in Sydney). Second, we were going to welcome another lamb into God’s fold through the waters of baptism.
It was a very happy day for Sister Fuatino Marie Wily, who resides in the Riverina town of Griffith, NSW. Marie was brought up in the SDA Reform Movement church, and it was always her mother’s prayer that Marie (her only child) would one day give her heart to the Lord. But after some time of living out her life the way she wanted, she met Jerry, and eventually they got married and were waiting on the next phase in life, of becoming parents. For five years they waited and prayed for a child, and God answered their prayers, with their beautiful baby girl Eden, who was born at the beginning of this year.
During Marie’s pregnancy, she and her husband had the opportunity to really consider the future of their unborn child. With so much happening in the world, their number one priority was to give this gift God had given them back to the Lord in such a way that she would grow to know and love God always. So, Marie started her journey by requesting baptismal Bible studies with Brother Larry Ah-Ching. After completing her baptismal studies, Marie didn’t want to wait too long. So she planned to head to Sydney for the baptism to be held on Sabbath August 6th, 2022.
But the devil was not at rest. He was adamant in not wanting Marie to get baptised. The day before they planned to head up to Sydney, their car decided to stop working, so they had a mechanic come to have a look at what was wrong. The mechanic told them it would take him until the following afternoon to try and fix the problem. They couldn’t afford to wait until the following afternoon, as they needed to get to Sydney before Sabbath. At this point things were not going as planned, so they prayed for the Lord to help them work out what they should do, and above all they prayed that God’s will in all of this be done. They decided to hire a car and packed up to leave for Sydney on Thursday evening.
Now another difficulty arose. Throughout the week leading up to August 6th, there was forecast heavy rainfalls in Southern NSW which affected the Riverina and surrounding areas. Sydney was fortunate enough to have stayed dry, which was very much needed as we were just coming out of some major flooding from a few weeks earlier. By Thursday the rains had settled down in Southern NSW, but had left many roads in and out of the Riverina areas flooded. Now a trip that initially should have only taken about 6 or so hours ended up taking them all night. They only arrived in Sydney around 6am on Friday morning. There were many roads cut off by water and a lot of detours that needed to be taken, and at some points they had to cross flooded roadways with a lot of faith, praying the car wouldn’t get stuck. But all praise and glory to God because He is so merciful to His loved ones, and they made it by God’s grace.
Sabbath started out with beautiful sunshine. Many were in attendance for Sabbath School and Divine Service which was followed by the Profession of Faith for Marie. All were very happy to hear her Christian experience and what had led her to decide to give her heart to the Lord. During combined lunch the winds picked up and it got a little chillier than what the baptismal candidate and the church elder would have wanted, let alone everyone else that was going to be at the river.
We all headed out to be at the Yarramundi Reserve River in Richmond by 3pm and the Lord was so good that by the time we arrived at the river, the wind had disappeared. It was just a glorious sunny afternoon-perfect for a baptism (well, I am sure the water would have told a very different story). It was a beautiful start to a journey that all heaven is rejoicing in. Our prayer is that God will continue to bless Sister Marie as she continues to journey with the Lord each and every day, knowing that she will be in our prayers and have our full support in helping her grow in God’s amazing grace.
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10.
~ Tanya Ah-Ching