Baptized! On July 11, 2017 we had the first baptisms of 2017 at House of Refuge (HRS). 4 guys were baptized. Here’s the video and below are their stories.
In order of their baptisms on the video:
Dale: Homeless and addicted, Dale heard about House of Refuge Sunnyslope (HRS) from a friend. He was a believer and tried several times to get out of the chains of addiction, but his accountability structure wasn’t sturdy enough and he’d given up on them. HRS provided a strong accountability foundation. He had been baptized before, however, now he wanted to rededicate his life to God in front of everyone. He’s a member at Scottsdale Bible Cactus where he’s joining the Men Discipling Men discipleship ministry so he can become mentor and lead others to Christ. Dale’s been at HRS since Feb. 2016 and he’s currently enrolled in a chaplain training program.
Dale was diagnosed with cancer in one of his kidneys. After surgery, he’s cancer free.
“The Lord has moved in my life!”
Gabriel: Gabe came to HRS from prison. He was baptized in prison. Why did he want to be baptized again?
“When I was baptized in prison, I was in still in bondage. Now that I’m free, I wanted to be released from my sins and rededicate my life to Jesus Christ.”
Gabe, in addition to full-time job during the day, serves as night manager at HRS. He’s only been at HRS since April of this year and he showed enough responsibility to get the position.
James: You may think that moving from California to Phoenix without having housing secured is risky. Moreover, that’s exactly what James and a friend of his did last December. He heard about HRS and qualified for the program. He’s been a believer for some time, but he felt he needed to rededicate his life to Jesus.
I’m a sinner and I wanted God to know that I’ve truly repented.
Robert: He was in prison and found out about HRS through the church he attended. He wrote HRS and he moved in the day he was released.
And I have loved it since then. This is a wonderful place!
Editor’s note: The Sunday before, we had an alter call at First Christian Church. Pastor Chuck motioned to me to pray with this young man who had come up. His name was Robert and he was wanting to rededicate his life to God and was also praying for a job and financial problems. Monday, when I came to the office, I found out that he was a resident! He had gotten a job that afternoon and his first day was the 11th! Prayer works! I was overjoyed when he wanted to be baptized Tuesday night. ~ Giselle Aguiar, Blog Editor.
It’s interesting that they all rededicated their lives to Jesus Christ by being baptized again.
They all had been baptized before and did a little backsliding. It’s OK, we’re all sinners and we’re human. As humans, we make mistakes and fall into temptations, but we know that Jesus can change lives — that He can take broken things and use them to further His Kingdom here on earth. Though not a requirement for salvation, these guys felt renewed hearts in rededicating their lives to following Jesus more closely.
Lou Vitiello, who spoke so eloquently about what it means to be baptized, is one of our volunteer bible study teachers. This is also the first baptisms since our new Men’s Program Manager, Abel Sambrano, took over the position.
We’re not just a homeless shelter or transitional housing program. We are dedicated to transforming lives.
We plant the seeds and water them, but God does all the heavy work.