I first met Jerry in his Group Home (we’ll call him Jerry to honor his privacy). When I first met him I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. He has dyed hair and stands tall above the others. As we got to know each other I began to find out that he was a Christian and had brief experiences hearing about Jesus from churches near where he grew up. From these brief encounters Jerry knew there was a God who saw and cared for him.
Week by week, as I visited the group home I began to learn more about Jerry’s story and the trauma he had experienced throughout his childhood. After sharing openly about a serious moment of violence he experienced Jerry remarked, “I’ve never shared that with anyone!” I also started sharing about God’s love and healing, especially as I’ve encountered it in my own life.
While doing one of our weekly bible studies at his group home, the topic of baptism got brought up and Jerry mentioned how he always wanted to get baptized. I told him that we could make it happen if it was something that he was feeling led to do. After talking through what baptism was all about he decided it was definitely something he wanted to do.
On a warm day this June Jerry, his group home and staff showed up to our Campus Life Center. He was nervous and excited all at the same time. He made it clear that he wanted someone to record it for him. As we got in the pool at the Campus Life Center there were many other group homes there watching (some Christian, some not). I explained how special this moment was. How he was joining in the
same proclamation that 1,000’s of years of believers had done before him. How he could look around and know for certain that he belonged to the family of God. How through this action, others could also be encouraged to follow Jesus, just as he had chosen to do.
I’m proud of Jerry for taking the next step in his relationship with Jesus. For making public what was a growing reality on the inside. Jerry is following Jesus through all the twists and turns of life. It was a special honor for me to baptize him, I’ll never forget it!
– John Drotos, Group Life Staff