Atlanta: My special day (Monday 6 July 2009) Charlie

Finally! It feels great to be starting a blog again!! I have been laying off them for the last two months because I only really started to feel like I'm back during the last week. The whole concept of the world tour is so surreal that it took me two months to totally realize again what was going on! I caught myself just standing in awe the whole time. Not only because of the beauty of God's creation everywhere but also because of the hope of good people and friendliness that still prevails. Yes, these last two months I've seen so much of God's character in other people that I have hope for this world.

Being on my feet again after floating off a bit I want to look back at the previous two months and take you with me on the road of beautiful emotion and awe.

I will start with my special day in Atlanta, it being my freshest memory, but in my following blogs I will backtrack and reflect on the rest of Atlanta, Toronto and Montana as well.

There are certain moments in life that you will regret because no one is perfect. Then there are other that are nice but are quickly forgotten and then there are moments that changes the course of your life forever and not only inspires you, but also influences your decisions for the rest of your life!

This world tour thus far is filled with such moments of utter joy and fulfillment that only God can give, but the past week in Atlanta certainly changed my life forever.

The most amazing part is that all that happened to me here in Atlanta can not just be defined by one moment but consists of my whole past and my plans for the future! You might ask, what has Charlie seen this time or what natural wonder is next? But the great thing about it is that is wasn't something from the world or of this world that captured me, but it was a decision to be a part of the One who is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Yes, for the first time I have decided on my own out of obedience that I want to surrender my whole life and give everything to my Lord and Saviour! I realized that everything that matters here on earth is everything that was done for God's Kingdom. God's Kingdom is not part of the world we currently live in, but we can do everything we do for the Kingdom of God, if He Himself lives in us and through us. This decision was not taken here only, but was a process where I came to know God. You might ask again, but Charlie haven't you already given your heart to the Lord and my answer would be yes!, but I was always trained that way by my parents and it was out of their obedience that they raised me that way, not out of my own heart and mind. Thus I made the decision on my own not only to give my heart to the Lord but to die in myself and let Him live through me. Yes, on the 30th of June 2009 I got baptized!

Now that you know that happened I can elaborate more. The thing is God's Word has been secretly nudging me and nudging me whenever I read it, but I didn't see a time or a place until my family told me that we were going to visit Bruce Wilkinson in Atlanta. The Lord then secretly nudged me again and kind of told me that this was the right time. I thought about it a lot since that day but then I forgot about it when the tour started. In Canada however the Lord reminded me again of this date and place and I began digging deeper again. Still being unsure if I was ready for it. I prayed and thought it through a lot and knew that this was what God wanted me to do. I also realized that there are a few factors that have to fall in place for this to be possible. So I prayed to God and handed it to Him, if all factors fall in place and it is possible I will be obedient and get baptized.

So it happened that we contacted Dr Bruce and asked where we would meet. He then replied that he now lived in South Carolina but will be able to come to us on the 30th of June. We didn't want to be a burden so we offered to drive to him but again he insisted that he should come to us. Excited by this I knew the first step was in place. It was only afterwards that I learned that He just finished with a big project on the 29th and started with another project the 1st of July in Atlanta! So the date in between was perfect!!! The next step was to get some kind of pool or large enough body of water. So we started looking on Google Earth for a pool close to our house. We found one a few blocks away, went to the house and knocked on the door. What happened next was interesting. A woman opened the door and greeted us. We then boldly asked if we could by any chance use her pool for a baptism. She then started laughing and said that this was hilarious. We asked why she thought so and she said that she didn't believe in God and now there is going to be a baptism in her pool, but somehow she just can't say no!!! Thus I saw God's image even in a non-believer.

Everything for the baptism was set. The baptist, the pool and my heart. Now we just awaited Dr Bruce's arrival. Little did we know then how special this visit was going to be.

He arrived just after 12 pm as arranged and greeted us with hugs and "my you've grown since I last saw you"! We just sat there as a family listening to each others stories and learning from each other. He gave my father amazing insight on the African Leadership Institute and I just sat there listening to the truth. We also laughed and discussed more casual things like the world tour (My father's finger- always the favorite) and enjoyed each other.

We ate an amazing lunch and still discussed certain things and talked about them. The afternoon was filled with the same laughter but also very serious discussions. The time then came for me to get baptized... I had a quick, meaningful discussion with Dr Bruce alone and he agreed, it was time.

As we drove to the house with the pool we would be using a surge of emotions began to bubble inside me and I knew this was what God wanted. I began to get very excited knowing that God wants to work through me.

We got to the house and again got a meaningful greeting from our host, again saying that such a request she just couldn't deny. We got in the water (luckily Atlanta is nice and warm) prayed together and before I knew it I left my old self in the water and began a new life through Christ.
I was overwhelmed and just stood there crying while the others were praying. The moment had past but the joy of serving the Lord had just began!

Me and Dr Bruce got towels and dried off the water. While we were busy leaving, he said that as the guy who baptized me he has the privilege to ask a favour. All of us agreed and he asked us just to come with him. So we went to put on some dry clothes and we were off, where to we didn't know. He then asked us if we could guess what we were going to do, giving us a few clues and making it a riddle. One of the things we discussed earlier that day was that we walk so much, there is nothing left of our shoes (laughing). At last with all information gained I sheepishly guessed that we were headed to the mall and that he was going to buy us new shoes. It was more a hope than a guess but he said yes and immediately we didn't know what to feel inside.

He took us to a Footlocker and said we may get shoes on one condition, we may not look at the price. This was difficult for us all especially my mom. At the end we all got shoes from heaven and we didn't know how to thank him. This new day just got better and better.

He then took us to eat dinner and just took the blessing on and on. Whenever we wanted to thank him, he just said that it was his joy to give out the Lord's blessings. The largest blessing of it all was still to come: He gave my dad 10 000 books for the African Leadership Institute and "The Namibian Dream".

Ultimately the Lord blessed me with a wonderful day and I thank him and stand in awe of him. I also know now I have an even larger responsibility to live His character. Although it won't be easy I'm looking forward to it:

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

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