My name is Abel De Klerk, born and bred in Namibia, Tsumeb and completed school and 2 years National Service on the border between Namibia and Angola.
I grew up in a very strict military family background where 4 of the 6 of us, served in the military for many years.
I was introduced to Jesus, schooled in Bible knowledge, and attended Sunday school and church services regularly from a very young age at a Dutch reformed church in which I was baptized as baby.
I always tried to pleasure the Lord by doing what is right spiritually and lived an obedient live to my parents.
I've been involved in confession young groups while studying in Pretoria and chaired the Universities Young Confessions group over 3 years.
I came to be born-again (John 3:3) in my 2nd year of military service [38 years ago] after a bad day at the office when a touring Evangelist and Reverend at the base talked to me about accepting Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.
Now, I've been walking quite a path with Jesus and through what I've experienced and seen in my 2nd year of service at war, I have come to the conclusion that no one else counts in my life more than Jesus Christ.
I always strive to live according to Gal 3:22 by living the fruit of the Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness... towards others. As spiritual leader of my family, I believe Jesus looks at me for leadership and to look after their spiritual well-being, which is why we all are taking the step to be baptised.
I have decided to get baptised after a few months of in-depth studying the book of Acts and listening to baptism videos by Derek Prince ministries. Also, the Lord pressed it on my heart to pursue the true meaning of the baptism as in the book of Acts to repent, believe, get baptised and receive the Holy Spirit.
I now want more than just to be included into the covenant of God, to experience a deeper spiritual filled life and to be obedient to His calling.
I'm looking forward to the rest of my life after this, how the Spirit wants to change me and leads to new paths. I'm looking forward to the day when Jesus takes me away with my hand in His.
Magrietha De Klerk
My name is Magrietha de Klerk (Riëtte) and I was born in South Africa to a loving Christian family. When I lived in South Africa for the first 30 years of my life, I lived in a strict Calvinistic Christian society. What it means, is everything at your home, schools, work, Church and Governments, beliefs were the same. The rules everywhere were the same so there were no grey areas, it was all black or white.
My husband Abel and our three boys moved to Australia 20 years ago. Up until then my faith, tradition and culture were never tested but it all change when we moved to Australia, a very secular country. Our protected society was gone. We were challenged and tested for the last 20 years, and it is fair to say it was a difficult and rewarding journey. Thanks to God, he surrounded us with true believers who helped us along the way.
I was baptised as a baby, and this was our custom and believes. I always loved the Lord but because I lived in a Calvinistic society for the first 30 years, I felt I never needed to choose because I never knew anything different. After moving to Australia and my experiences I can honestly say I do believe in Jesus Christ because of my personal choice and not because of my tradition, culture and religion.
This is why I want to be baptised again to show God, He is my first, my last, my Alfa and Omega. Without Him I am nothing!
Armand De Klerk
My name is Armand de Klerk and I was born in South Africa in a loving Christian home. I moved to Australia when I was 7 months old where I have lived for my life so far. I went to a Christian primary and secondary school.
Having lived in a Christian home and gone to Christian schools, I have not been challenged much in my faith. As such I was more of a casual Christian in my faith and did not look much into it. However, as I began attending university and exposed myself more into a non-Christian environment, as well as talked to a few people who challenged me into looking into my faith, I have chosen that I wish to properly choose and show that I have decided to live my life for God and to have a relationship with Him. The biggest moment was when one of my friends who I thought to be a Christian challenged me about my faith and made me take a good look into what I believe and strengthened my faith.
Not long after my faith was challenged my parents came to me about getting baptised. I felt like this was a great opportunity to show to myself and to others that I am committed to this relationship with God. To show that I am not just following along with what I was initially taught and that I have chosen to take this path.
Jan De Klerk
My name is Jan De Klerk also known as Jandré. I was born in South Africa but arrived in Australia when I was 3 years old in 2000. I studied computer science at university which led me into a career as a software engineer working in Defense. I am currently living in a shared house with two other people, one I knew from high school, the other through studying at a Brisbane university. I also have a pet husky cross samoyed, her name is Aiva, and I love taking care of and having her being a part and extension of my life.
I grew up in a Christian family, so I grew up learning who Jesus was and His significance for our salvation. I was baptised as a baby like my family with me and before me. Some time after high school I came to an event to actively accept Christ as my Lord and Saviour, but only recently came to the decision to actively get baptised as a starting point to move forward and hopefully become a hand for God wherever I might be.
Jacques De Klerk
Hi, my name is Abel Jacobus De Klerk. All my close friends and family refer to me as Jacques due to our culture of having a family name and a personal name. I was blessed to be born into a Christian family who raised me in the Christian faith. I am a 25-year-old man currently in his last year of his master's degree studying to become a secondary P.E teacher here in Adelaide.
I have always seen myself as a Christian, even before I actually came to know our Lord and Saviour outside of my parents' influence. The ideals and morals passed down to us through His teachings in the Bible have shaped me into the individual I am today, and I have been able to observe how God has touched other Christians and non-Christians around me and shaped their lives as well as my own.
I have made the personal decision to get baptised today because, despite having considered myself a Christian my entire life, I have never in my own capacity acknowledged publicly that I was dedicating my life to and for Him and today I would like to do that officially.
I grew up in a Christian family and went to church every Sunday. I came to church every Sunday to sing songs and listen to the person who was preaching. I felt like I was a lost sheep. I knew the songs but I didn't know who Jesus was or what we were doing every Sunday. The Sunday School teachers were teaching me stories, but I had lots of questions about what they really meant.
I have always wanted to become a follower of Jesus, but it takes courage. I had spoken to leaders and friends about my growing faith. I had one experience recently on Easter Camp which really made me make the decision to follow Him! I felt His presence in the worship session we had. I felt Jesus speaking to me telling me, “You're ready to take the next step.”
I believe that this baptism means that I am ready to tell my family, the church and my friends that I am fully a follower and a child of His Kingdom.
I was born into a Christian family and am lucky enough to have been raised in the church. Growing up in Sunday school, surrounded by other Christians has definitely helped shape me into the person I am today. My family and friends have always supported me on my faith journey, and I am very thankful for that.
Even though I have always known and believed in God, I did not start stepping out in my faith and trusting him until last year. Two years ago, I was still heavily dependent on my parents’ faith and even though I believed, I wasn’t that interested in going to church or youth group. Now I am the one who is waking up early reminding everyone we have church, and youth group is a highlight of my week.
In the past two years I have faced a lot of change, and with this came nerves and anxiety. During this time of struggle, I learnt to trust in God and know that His plan is a lot better than mine. I have studied the Bible more than I ever thought I would and am thoroughly enjoying learning what He wants me to learn through this.
One section in the Bible which has always stuck out to me is Psalm 139. When my parents gave me my first ‘big girl’ Bible, they highlighted this passage, and it has guided me through life. I love how it emphasises how personal our relationship is with God, and it encourages us to truly trust in Him because He knows us better than we know ourselves.
Today I publicly declare that I am choosing to follow Jesus for the rest of my life by getting baptised.
I don’t remember there being a time when I didn’t know who Jesus was because I was born into a Christian home. I’ve grown up in the church going to Sunday school and being surrounded by Christian friends and family. I have been incredibly blessed with people in my life who encourage me in my faith and relationship with God.
From a young age I’ve always known that God was with me, as I’ve been through some challenging health obstacles in my life. These moments have tested me, but God has always been by my side and given me peace. I know that choosing to follow Jesus does not mean that life is going to be easy, and I know there will be more challenges around the corner, however, despite all these things I will never be alone.
My parents have shown me that even in the hardest situations God has got a plan for us to trust in and, like a father, only wants the best for us. As a family we have had to deal with some difficult things, but no matter what life throws at us we know that God is faithful and through prayer and trust in God, we will be alright.
I am in awe of how much someone could possibly love me no matter how bad I mess up. That someone would die for me just so my sins can be forgiven. I understand that there is nothing I could ever do to earn it or deserve it. The fact that God knows me personally and knows all things amazes me! I feel very grateful that I have a God that is for me, and I am very thankful to my parents for introducing me to Him.
I love going to youth on Friday nights and have really strengthened my faith since moving to Edwardstown Baptist Church six months ago. At EBC I have really felt God's presence and God has become much more real to me in my life. This last year has helped me realise that God will never stop loving or choosing me and that there is nothing that I can do or say that will ever change that.
A section in the Bible that I find really helpful is Matthew 6:25-34. It tells us not to worry about things in life because God has got us and He will provide for us. This passage reminds me that I do not gain anything from worrying and that I do not need to worry because God goes before me, prepares the way, and provides in every situation.
Trevor was invited to Friendship Group by Marie Pearl and was engaged in playing snooker. He had a hidden interest in knitting and Lea Berry discovered this hidden talent. Soon he became involved knitting a bedspread, pillowcase and is presently engaged in knitting a jacket. This was the beginning of close personal relationships with people and faith. He has become a key member of community Centre and is involved in serving in a number of areas.
As he struggled with disabilities, school was not a part of his life, although he would love to learn to read and write. When his mum passed away when he was ten, Minda was to become his home until he was 21. Over the years Trevor has had this desire to get baptised. Something of which he persistently spoke about. He was guided into the Scriptures regarding baptism and accepted Jesus into his life this year.
Today, Trevor is acknowledging his love for Jesus and his decision to commit to baptism and his Church.
I first became aware of the reality of God in my life in my childhood. I knew that He loved me and learnt about Him every week in church and Sunday School. My parents read me Bible stories and taught me to pray and read God’s word for myself. I particularly remember looking at an illustration of children sitting on Jesus’ lap when I was about seven years old and knowing He loved me as He loved them. I believe that through my parents’ promise to bring me up to know God and His salvation in Jesus, the Holy Spirit has been working in my life, drawing me to Himself, since I was baptised at three months of age.
My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all Christians and I had a happy childhood with my three younger siblings. My parents modelled the love, kindness, generosity, hospitality, discipline and joy which knowing and following God entails. Worshipping Him in church has always been a part of my life, and I enjoyed serving others, fellowshipping together, singing, reading the Bible and playing music in worship bands. The church was like my extended family as all my relatives lived interstate or overseas. I know God provided for, protected and preserved my family through incidents such as a car accident on an isolated road in Scotland in which my mother’s face was extensively injured. The next two vehicles to appear were a minister who took care of me and my father, and an empty ambulance which took my mum to be fixed up at the small local hospital where a skilled plastic surgeon was miraculously visiting.
I have had numerous occasions when God broke into my life and I experienced His saving and transforming grace towards me in His Son Jesus Christ. As I grew up I loved learning more about Him through the Bible but it wasn’t until 10 January 1985 that my heart was changed and I realised that Jesus had died for my sins in which I felt entangled as if in a spiderweb with no way of escape. I confessed my sin and gave my life to God on my knees that night at a large youth rally, was prayed for by my own minister who had come to help out, and was baptized with the Holy Spirit. From then on I began to have a growing relationship with my Lord and Saviour, and my behaviour changed from self-indulgence and denial of my sins to wanting to serve others in any way I can out of gratitude for what God has done for me. I come from a Methodist tradition in which a new believer was welcomed into the body of Christ through confirmation rather than baptism, so I made a public declaration of my faith and was confirmed after appropriate lessons.
I have the assurance of salvation and have been a Spirit-filled Christian for many years, walking with my LORD. In my daily life following Jesus means praying for others, spending a significant amount of time in God’s word, listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and allowing Him to strengthen and empower me to obey, helping and encouraging others in their faith, confessing my sins, and seeing God’s wonderful answers to prayer and His provision in all areas of my life and that of my family. I praise God daily for His faithful love towards me in Jesus Christ, and thank Him that my children are His as well.
My decision to become a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ occurred because God loved and chose me to belong to Him, and when the gospel came to me, not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5) I responded. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16) There is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved but the name of Jesus Christ.
One Scripture passage that has been especially meaningful to me is Isaiah 40:27-31. I have often acted like Jonah, running in the opposite direction when God called me to do something specific for Him so He compelled me to take notice of Him when a back operation in 1998 left me unable to walk, let alone run away! My children were only five and three at the time. I cried out to God in anguish and He promised me through these Bible verses that I would walk again, and then He called me to use the gifts He’s given me to lead other women in Bible study; firstly in Bible Study Fellowship while my children were growing up and then here at EBC which I’ve been doing since 2017. (Following a second operation a week later, God completed healing my back in His good time).
Until I joined the Baptist Church I hadn’t seen the need to be baptised by immersion, and until now I have been resistant to the idea, thinking it an unnecessary step as I know that I belong to God and am justified by faith in Jesus. However, while studying the book of Acts, and in particular Acts 10:44-48 where Cornelius, a Gentile believer, is baptised in water after previously being filled with the Holy Spirit, God clearly called me to take the plunge. I believe that I am ready, indeed long overdue, to be baptised by immersion; to undergo this symbolic cleansing and rebirth to eternal life as I identify with my Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection.
The next steps I would like to take in my journey with Christ are to continue faithfully in what God has called me to, and to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to know the next right thing to do, trusting in His empowering and enabling each day. I would also like to learn to pray without ceasing.
You can best pray for me that I will not be timid nor stubborn, but rely on the Holy Spirit’s power, love and self-discipline as I follow Jesus, walking by faith and not by sight, labouring in love for my LORD and enduring with hope until I meet Him face-to-face, not trying to please people, but only God, and learning to suffer with the joy and strength given by the Holy Spirit.
I would like to sincerely thank all those many faithful Christians over the years who have shared the good news of Jesus with me and encouraged me in my faith.
My name is Frehiwot Waldron. I was born in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. When I was 7, my parents died. Along with my younger brother and sister, I was adopted. We arrived in Australia in the year 2000 where we were blessed to be united with the wonderful family that raised us.
I have devoted parents who inspire me every day in their walk of faith. Whilst I may not have appreciated it whilst growing up, I recognise today how fortunate I was to have such an introduction to this life.
As a mother now to four girls, I feel a responsibility to do similarly. I would hope to be an example of my faith, to guide my girls in a life that is knowledgeable of the peace and certainty I now have in God. Also, to understand and learn the lesson that I was taught, through a somewhat rebellious youth, that the trials of life are always manageable through Him.
I pray that they will always recognise life's coincidences for the miracles they are and know that though they no longer have an earthly father, they have a Father in Heaven on whom they can always rely and look to without judgement and with no fear of separation.
My earliest childhood memories are in Ethiopia, of a life consisting of extreme poverty that led to a downward spiral in quality of life and health and resulting in a life burdened by psychological trauma. However, I believe it is through difficulties that we can be forced into God's presence, and this was proved true for me. I began seeking my faith for the sake of comfort through floods of tears and in the most desperate of times.
As a child, I devoted myself to continuous prayer at every given moment. Although I had no biblical knowledge and I lacked understanding of who God was, I recognised His presence within me, and wholeheartedly believed that my questions were heard and answered.
In the many years to follow, I have come to recognise that God had, through adoption and the life I was to pursue, provided me with an opportunity to no longer mourn the past but build a future where I was to become the person whom He destined me to be.
God's greatest gift is His desire for us to come to Him of our own volition. With free will, there does not always come good choices and for many years, I was overwhelmingly chained to my traumatic past experiences. Previously deeply broken, I now understand my search through those unhealthy choices, a need to fill a void that only brought temporary satisfaction and worked to disconnect me from those who truly cared for me.
This last year brought the unexpected and tragic loss of my partner and the father of my four daughters. Furthermore, a devastating light was shed on the past decade of overwhelming debt that we had accrued in the struggle to raise our girls. It is in this chaos, that I truly encountered God. His presence is now as clear to me as it was when I saw Him during the innocence of childhood faith.
At a time when I felt I had not the stamina nor the hope to continue in life, I cannot condense into any appropriate terms, a description of all God has done during these past months. It is both miraculous and utterly unexplainable.
God provided when my circumstance would have convinced me that there was absolutely no possibility of moving forward. He has sustained me and my children through the best and the absolute worst. I have come to know that God is never confined by circumstances. My children and I are not prosperous by any material standard but in the spiritual sense, I feel that we have what we need most! It is at this height of difficult stages, that I have gained the most clarity and perspective and my eyes are able to truly see that which matters.
My priorities have shifted and my desires for the future have adjusted. The life I had chosen for myself, I know I would never have willingly surrendered but I believe God uses the worst of circumstances to accomplish His will for change. I believe in a God who is all knowing of the past, present and future and in allowing the worst, brings us that much closer to Him and encourages our dependency on Him. We are set back on a path that is align with what he had always intended.
I cannot think of a moment in my life where I have had more of a deep desire to be baptised. God has been so incredibly faithful throughout my life, and I want to commit to Him wholly and publicly in the same way.
I want to continue to grow in an intimate relationship with God and daily, I am moved by my salvation through Jesus Christ.
I am learning to recognise His voice, to acknowledge His yes and His refusals and perceive that His intentions are for my wellbeing. As a parent, I am learning this truth more and more! I want to secure the stability in who He says I am and stand strong by His Word. Whatever the situation or circumstance, I will try to not stumble but know He will be with me when I do. I pray He will see me as a vessel and use me to help build His name on the hearts of others. I want to not just receive His grace but glorify His name for whatever time I have left on this earth.
My children will be raised in the certainty of His light. He is more than worthy!
My name is Marie Pearl, born in Queen Victoria Hospital here in Adelaide. I have five sisters and had my struggles in life as I was born with a disability. I often asked my mum as to why was I born because coping with disabilities was not easy, and I was not being included in many of the various other things we did or were invited to. There were not many supports systems, so I had to move to a number of schools that supported students like me. School was generally good, but I had bullying issues along the way. So I finished school at year ten and got various employment along the way.
I attended E.B.C. as I knew Gwen from Gwen’s Pantry. Here in E.B.C. I became a Christian and got involved in various groups including Bible studies of which I loved. I love this Church and the people here who love me and include me.
These past few years I had the opportunity to serve in Friendship Group and welcome so many new people to the group as many of them are like me and have disabilities. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to help others and I also invite my friends to the group.
Today I want to be baptised because I believe that this is an important step to following Jesus. He has been so good to me, and I know He loves me and has looked after me. He also has given me a purpose in life to serve Him and others.