“Does anyone else want to be baptised?”
Every year at Hillside, we ask this question and offer baptisms. The imagery of baptism is the best symbol we have to make a public declaration of what’s happened at Hillside. That the old- the lies and ugly behaviours they’ve been living under- is now dead, and the truth about who God is and who He made them to be now reigns over them. It’s showing that these truths will now dictate and shape their lives.
We had men stand up and for the first time declare that they are sons not just servants of the Living God. We had women shout that their voice will now be heard. We had students, whose faces and countenance had physically been changed, stand in that pool and speak the truth of who they are. Fear and shame and rejection and striving were banished in that small pool that day. In their place, came belief and faith that Jesus was for them and He was moving in them and through them. That nothing could separate them from their Maker and Father.
And as jeans and jumpers were soaked, and as grown men and women stood shivering in that pool as we and all of Heaven said yes and amen to what God had done in them, I was undone by the simple, transformative power of Jesus.
Because Hillside isn’t really anything special. We just get a group of people together and commit to Truth, commit to Love, commit to one another. We build a family that fights for each other and welcomes Jesus. And He comes. He always comes. This year, He came into physical needs of healing and provision. He came into grief of trauma and miscarriages. He came into uncertainty of big dreams and uni degrees and boyfriends. He came with freedom from boxes and religion. He came with grace for sins and mistakes. He came like He always comes.
And as He comes, we go. We are moved by His kindness, His compassion and love. Moved by the way He fights for us and how He will never give up His reckless pursuit of us. In fact, some of my favourite Hillside testimonies actually came from the 24 hours immediately after it ended, when stories started rolling in of how my family of life changers was carrying the presence of God everywhere they went. One student lead 2 youths to Christ at a bus stop. One student prayed and saw his friend’s ankle get healed. Another started prophesying over a group of people and saw them get genuinely touched by the Lord. A large number of them got wrecked for missions and committed to nations within a week of leaving Hillside.
So here’s to another year of world changers being sent out with that love and kindness and goodness reigning in their veins. Here’s to another year of Hillsiders in wet jumpers and jeans dunked into the truth of who they are and who He is.
If you’re excited by this ministry and interested in supporting me in it, you can always give by clicking here. And as always, thanks for your support on the adventure!