This is the story of Nehemiah’s journey to faith and acceptance of Jesus in baptism. It is written by his House Dad, Bobby Jackson in Cottage 1.
Over the past few months, Nehemiah asked his house parents and Bible teachers questions about salvation. Earlier, he saw several other boys get baptized. He again told Melanie and I that he wanted to be baptized.
I asked Nehemiah, “Why do you want to be baptized?” He replied, “I want people to know that I believe in Jesus. I have learned a lot about God from your life stories you have told, cottage devotions, watching Christian movies like “Courageous”, listening to Christian music and listening in church. Since I first came here (NMCCH), I started thinking and feeling this way. I want my baptism to be on a Sunday so everyone can know that I believe. I am not just doing it for the snack and juice at Communion. I know in my heart it’s time to be baptized.”
Nehemiah gave ALL the right answers to my questions. Not just correct information, most importantly, his answers came from a heart of faith.
Again, we read some of God’s promises and Nehemiah asked for forgiveness and stated that he wanted Jesus to be his Lord and Savior.
“If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved. It is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Everyone who calls on the NAME of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:9-10 & 13
Jesus said “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved and whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16
“All of us who were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death. Therefore, we were buried with Christ through baptism into death…so that just as Christ was raised from death through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4
So, on Sunday March 25, 2018, I had the privilege of baptizing Nehemiah into Christ in front of his peers and family at the Southside Church of Christ.
After Nehemiah’s public confession of Jesus Christ and baptism, positive changes have been observed in his attitude and behavior. Both sets of Nehemiah’s house parents noticed these changes. His words and actions to others have been kinder. He seems more at peace and expressed noticeably less demeaning comments about himself. Nehemiah has been better at receiving correction and accepting responsibility for his own actions. Nehemiah also told me a handful of times “Mr. Bobby, thank you for helping me to know God and baptizing me. I am very happy.”
Note: Bobby and Melanie Jackson, with their daughter Hannah, serve as house parents in Cottage 1. They have been working at the Home for almost 2 years now. We are so grateful that God brought them here to minister to our children. Nehemiah has been at the Home for about a year and is one of the children of Liberian refugees that we serve. Nehemiah has also shared his decision with his mother.