Sunday, we had yet another humbling and encouraging opportunity to celebrate believer's baptism with two friends in our Hallows community. It was a beautiful picture pointing us back to the very powerful and personal work Jesus came to do when he stepped on earth as Immanuel--God with us. Jim has been participating in the life of the Hallows Church for about six months, along with his wife and high school sweetheart, Amanda, their two year old daughter, June, and baby #2 who is due in February. In that time, the Hickernell family has also been part of the Missional Community led by Dave and Erin Bishop. Take a couple minutes to read the testimony that Jim shared before being baptized so that you too can celebrate God's work in our brother's life.
"Good morning, everyone. My name is Jim, and I’ve been attending The Hallows Church for about six months. My wife and high school sweetheart, Amanda, is here with me today, along with our two-year-old daughter, June, and baby #2 who will be joining us in February. Amanda and I are born and raised Texans who left Texas looking for an adventure. We spent a while in California and now call West Seattle home. After experiencing the west coast there’s no going back for us.
I was raised by two wonderful parents who love the Lord and taught me to do the same since before I can remember. At a very young age, I was at a Bible study and the lesson was about the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at a well. In this passage in John 4, Jesus explains that everyone who drinks water from the well will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the living water that Jesus gives will never thirst. This made a lot of sense to my five year old brain, and after talking about it more with my mother, I prayed and accepted God’s gift of Jesus to save me from my sins.
Since then I’ve grown in my faith and have been through periods in my life where I’m following closely or not as closely to God. No matter where I’m at in my walk with God, it is a blessing to say that I’ve never been “thirsty,” God’s gift of salvation has always been with me, and always will.
There is really no good explanation for why I haven’t been baptized, but I’m so excited it is happening today. I started planning to be baptized after searching for a church in Seattle and seeing that many churches required baptism as a part of the membership process. Though I’ve had a bad and sinful attitude about that type of requirement in the past, it is clear to me that Jesus commands for us to be baptized.
I’ve been a part of many churches in my life, but serving and church membership are a new priority for me. Looking back, I see what a blessing it was to learn about God as a child and to be surrounded by people that loved and served Him. I want to model the same thing for my children, and for others. Today I pray for forgiveness for my disobedience and thank the Lord again that he sent Jesus to die for me. I pray that I would be more obedient to His commands, and I pray that my family would know and love the Lord as I do."