Last night, October 20, 2009, you were baptized. The baptism was conducted by Uncle Chris at the Toppenish Creek Longhouse in White Swan, Washington on The Yakama Indian Reservation. You were five months old so I doubt you will remember much about the night, so I thought I might tell you a little about it.
The service began at 6:30 with a wonderful meal that Aunt Mary, Miss Heather and Miss Emily worked for over two days to prepare. There was chicken, ham, potatoes, green beans, corn and the best pies anyone has ever tasted. There were around 70 people there. Your Pappaw and Mimi came all the way from Tennessee to be there for it too. There were lots of children and teenagers. Miss Veronica and Mr. Mike drove brought most of them in the Sacred Road Van and were busy all night helping the children to behave.
Many of the children came up to see you and say hello while you sat next to your Mimi. One of the teenagers in our youth group, Kassandra, stayed around you the whole night. She was so happy. Another teenager, Felicia, went home and came back so that she could get a necklace to give you.
After the meal, everyone moved into the ceremonial room and Miss Gretchen, Miss Emily and Uncle Chris led everyone in worship. We sang three songs: â€œ I Will Sing and Love and Worship,â€ â€œHow Deep the Fatherâ€™s Loveâ€ and â€œFor the Beauty of the Earth.â€ Your mommy and I picked those songs to remind us and everyone present how much God loves us.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
Every time I look at you now, I will think of that verse. How much God must love us to give His only son. As my only son, I donâ€™t think you will ever know how much I love you.
After the singing, Uncle Chris told everyone in the longhouse what baptism was. He talked about it being a seal, like on an envelope that only Jesus can open. Your sister really liked that – she asked mommy lots of questions about it. When he finished, he called all of us up to the front.
I held you and Asha stood in front of your mommy. Uncle Chris told everyone about how your name â€œIsaacâ€ means â€œhe laughsâ€ and Ashaâ€™s name means â€œhopeâ€. Then he asked us three questions about how you needed Jesus as a saviour, how we would teach you about Jesus as you grow up and how we would pray with you and for you. Then he asked everyone present if they would help us raise you according to the way Jesus wants. Many people said they would, which made me very happy.
He took you in his arms and sprinkled water over your head and baptized you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. You were the first baby he has ever baptized and he was really happy. He handed you back to me – you were so good, you never cried or got upset. We finished by singing â€œAmazing Grace.â€
After the baptism ceremony we gave gifts to everyone who came as a way of saying thank you to them for welcoming our family into their community. Mister Jack helped me out a lot with doing the giveaway so that we could try to do it the right way in the longhouse. He said he had never seen a baptism before and that wild horses wouldnâ€™t have kept him from coming. Toby, Billy, Felicia and Ann Marie all helped to pass out the gifts.
We have lived on the reservation now for eight months now and everyone at Hope Fellowship has been very kind and generous to us. They are our friends and family.
They will be your church.
I love you.