Most of our Easter Sunday memories as a family comes from our time in Kentucky. Most memorable is a Sunrise Service with the Calvary (Lexington) Free Methodist Church (FMC) in Shilito Park, organized by my wife, Sarah. That time, we had the whole church, about 25 members, come for the early morning service. Even the church members who were physically handicapped came for this early dawn event. It is such a great encouragement remembering all these Easter Sunday activities.
Here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, most of our Free Methodist local churches hold their baptism service on this beautiful Sunday. Today, our Feng Shan FMC has four young people baptized in front of the church. It is fun watching the grandparents and parents of these youth taking pictures of their children being baptized. What a great testimony of God's goodness in this local community. One of the youth is a 12-year old girl, the daughter of the Church Deacon (Ministerial candidate). Everyone in church is so happy for this family. At such a young age, she is making the decision to follow Jesus. This is what happens when the Spirit comes into a person's life, regardless of physical deformities or age limitations. People will follow a Resurrected and Risen Lord!
Later in the afternoon, we are joining the Baptism Service of the Higher Ground Church, a local church here ministering to Filipino migrant workers. Two children and two adults are being baptized today. This church is an independent struggling community here in Kaohsiung. Members are moving in and out through two different cultures, Philippine and Taiwan cultures, not to mention the many different languages and dialects between these two nations. (Philippines has currently 168 languages and dialects.) Despite these challenges, migrant workers and their families are making the decisions to follow Christ and receive the rite of baptism. What a glorious day.
Still later, Carmen and Sarah (my daughter and wife, respectively) participates in another church, the Assembly of God (AOG) church here in Kaohsiung. This is a local church that ministers to North Americans here in this city. Carmen likes to go to this church because she has friends there who are of her age (not to mention speaking English fluently). There is no baptism today in this local community for Westerners. Still the same, it is a time for Easter eggs, the newness of life, and celebration of Easter Sunday through the singing of great hymns such as the "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" and "Up From the Grace He Arose." Who cannot resist the urge to belt out in loud boisterous crescendo when singing these marvelous Easter hymns.
By the way, I did not go to the AOG church. I stayed home with Jacob (my six-year old son). But I heard these stories from my family members who went. Later this evening, during our devotions, Carmen asked me sing another favorite Easter song. So I sang the "Easter Song" by Keith Green. Afterwards, she said, with her nine-year-old innocent eyes, "Can you teach me this song?" Of course, I was very happy to do so. When the Holy Spirit comes down in all the power of the resurrected Christ, one cannot help but accept baptism, testify to everyone, and sing gloriously, "Hear the bells ringing, they are singing, Christ is risen from the dead."