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March 17th

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Baptisms & Goodbyes at the Nelson Center

Today, September 16, 2011, the last resident left the Nelson Children’s Center in Denton. As the Nelson Center closes its doors, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on how this wonderful ministry has impacted so many young lives over the years.

The following story was written by Ruth Drum, the spiritual care director at the Nelson Center. It is a testament to the power of God’s love, and to the promise of hopeful futures, created one child at a time.

Nelson baptism1On September 6, I was working in my office when a program manager called me to come down the hallway because of a disturbance. There was a lot of commotion from an 8-year old resident who had just found out that he was going to be hospitalized that afternoon. Staff had asked him why he was so upset, and he said, “I was going to be baptized on Thursday. No one ever loved me enough to get me baptized.”  And now he was being taken away before that could happen.

I spoke with this little boy briefly and asked him why he wanted to be baptized. He had a hard time expressing it so I reminded him of the reasons that we had studied from the Catechism: God works forgiveness of sins, new life, and salvation.  It struck me as an emergency situation in which any Christian can baptize. And so in one of the rooms off the hallway, with three staff members as witnesses and water from one of their water bottles, I baptized this boy in “The Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” After we prayed, the boy had calmed down, smiled, and gave us all a hug.

Now a new creation in Christ and my new little brother in the Faith, he was able to walk out with hospital personnel,  secure in the knowledge that Nelson Center staff “loved him enough” to get him baptized and that as God’s child, he has a great future ahead forever. Amen.

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