On Saturday, February 17, 2007, the Kitale Elders had a baptism scheduled. Unfortunately, the Kitale town water system had not been working for many days. There was no water in the pipes and the Branch storage tanks were empty. What were we to do?
We had already postponed the baptism once and Elder Mbokazi refused to do that again. He insisted that we could haul water from the river using buckets and barrels and our mission truck.
So early that morning we gathered at the church with buckets, barrels, and anything else that would hold water. We loaded up the mission pick-up and drove to the river where local people not connected to the city water system get their water. We backed up to the steep trail leading down to the small stream we jokingly called a river. Elders Mbokazi and Walker, Branch President Ndungu, the president’s kids, the senior couple, Elder and Sister Nielson, Moses Chibon, the Sunday School teacher, Sister Nabwanie a new member, and assorted neighbors and friends all began hauling cans of water up the steep trail and dumping them in barrels. We made three trips from there to the font behind the church. It took us five hours to fill the font but we were ready for the baptism on Sunday. We were exhausted but happy.
The next day after church services were over we gathered beside the font with our one convert, Dorothy Nasimuyu Sabina Muoma, an attorney. She had asked Elder Nielson to baptize her. We were excited but our troubles were not over. As Elder Nielson descended the stairs into the cold and slightly dirty water he discovered that the floor of the font was very slippery. He also found that there was not enough water to make baptism a simple thing. Dorothy had a bad knee and along with the shallow water it meant that she did not get completely immersed. We had to repeat the baptism. President Kogo was one of the witnesses. It was suggested that we should kneel down in the water and try it that way, so we did. But with Dorothy’s bad knee it was difficult for her. As she was lowered backwards under t he water, Elder Nielson began to slip on the font floor. He was virtually baptized himself as he had to push Dorothy under the surface from a kneeling and slippery position. But this time the total immersion was accomplished. We almost burst into a cheer. Afterwards, Dorothy gave what President Ndungu said was the best testimony he had ever heard a new convert give. We were thankful that Elder Mabokazi had not let us give up on this difficult baptism.