Sunday (November 15) was a special day of celebration for the members of San Pablo in La Cartonera. They had been asked by Missionary Maximo Urroz, their former missionary and pastor, if they would host in their worship service the confirmation of the first four converts in the Synod’s new outreach ministry in Leon. Both Pastor Henry Chong, the present pastor and the congregation were pleased to oblige and we were excited in being invited to join in the celebration.
While all baptisms and confirmations are joyous occasions in the church, this particular Sunday’s celebration was unique in the history of this young church. All three confirmands were men. A fourth man, Jairo Soto, was called in to work at the last minute and not able to attend.(His confirmation will take place in a later service) Of the three, Jose Martinez was the youngest in his middle twenties. The oldest was retired school teacher and poet, Fernando Nuñes in his early eighties. Silvio Fransico Sequia, a civil engineer, was somewhere between the two.
The service was led by Pastor Henry Chong; Missionary Maximo shared the Word of God in the sermon and together the pastors carried out the rite of confirmation. As in our confirmations, each confirmand confessed their faith using the words of the Apostles Creed, and in pledging their faithfulness to Christ and to His Word, they received their blessing. Following the blessing, each confirmand was given the privilege of addressing the congregation. Each spoke from the heart as they shared their faith in Christ and their thankfulness to God. My attempt to attach to this column a short video of Fernando Nunos address was not successful. Here is a rough translation of his message. “I give thanks to God for sending Dr. Martin Luther to show the truth and for all saints who through the years have shared this truth in the World. I give thanks to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for the spiritual gifts given to me and for permitting me to become part of His church. I thank Him for this day when I am confirmed into this Christian faith through these Christian Pastors.
And so God’s work of saving continues as our missionaries reach out with the Gospel.