The waters of baptism can be powerful!

By Chris Directo.

“He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’” Matthew 8:26-27 NIV.


The large crowd hikes across cinder and gravel toward Kaimuu Beach in Paahoa.(photo by Mel Benfer)

You had to have been there to believe it.

This past Sunday, Henny was baptized in Christ at Kaimuu Beach in Paahoa.

Although all baptisms are awesome events, Henny’s baptism literally overflowed with tons of power.

Kaimuu Beach, which Henny handpicked as her baptism site, by itself, is a magnificent place. It is fairly untouched by human hands, with very few man-made structures or objects on the shore.

Kaimuu shows God’s power with its beauty, but it also shows God’s power with its destruction.

In 1990, a Kilauea volcano eruption released lava near the Kalapana area. This lava reached Kaimuu and destroyed everything in sight. The town of Kaimuu was replaced by the lava rock.


Linda, Jeff and Evan try to hold Henny still as Anne keeps a watchful eye on the waves. (photo by Chris Directo)

All that can be seen today is the lava rock and some tourist shops that have been built on top of the ruins of the town.

You can say that Kaimuu also represets rebirth. People who care for the beach have worked hard over the years to replant trees and flowers around the old site of Kaimuu. Tourists and locals continue to visit the beach. Now the once desolate area is green and alive again.

Kaimuu was a town known for its surfing. Locals used to gather near Kaimuu Bay along the beach to watch surfers ride the waves.  

But last week Sunday, our church gathered at Kaimuu Beach not to watch surfing, but to watch a soul be saved.

Our church assembled near some of the tourist attractions in Kaimuu after church on Sunday. The church was more than happy to drive the distance for Henny’s baptism.


The group is happy to be alive after the baptism, and Henny is happy to be born again! (photo by Mel Benfer)

Henny also invited a bunch of her friends, including people who had been instrumental in her studying the Bible and wanting to become a Christian.

Henny grew up a Moslem. Last year, her husband Jeff studied the Bible and was baptized into Christ. Since then, Henny had been studying the Bible on her own, with people she knows and with people in the church. While she was happy for her husband, she did not want to be converted.

Over the past year, Henny continued to study her own faith in Islam and the Christian Bible. She worked hard to find questions, and to get her questions answered.

Recently, she made the decision to want to turn her life over to Jesus.

On the day of Henny’s baptism, everyone that Henny invited showed up in Kaimuu and made to long walk to the beach. There is a path that leads to the beach, over cinder, lava rock and gravel. The walk is about ten minutes.

When the procession got close to the beach, we could hear the thundering of the waves on the shore. We stared in awe at the sight of the waves rising and rolling and crashing on the sand. The sea looked so rough that I read everyone’s mind, with everyone collectively wondering how Henny was going to get baptized in that.


Jeff and Henny are awewome disciples in the Lord! (photo by Chris Directo)

In the baptism circle, there were a lot of people who wanted to share about Henny and her long quest to become a Christian, including her own husband. Jeff shared about how they met and how Henny knew God, and how she came to know Jesus.

Henny expressed how so many people had a hand in her coming to know Jesus.

It was a good thing that four people went with Henny into the ocean on this day because the ocean seemed too much for less people.

Jeff, Anne, Evan and Linda baptized Henny in the ocean waves, although some people described the baptism as the ocean waves baptizing Henny.

Seeing Henny become a Christian from where she came from was amazing, and seeing her get baptized in a place so beautiful and powerful was overwhelming.

I’m glad that I was there to witness this remarkable event.

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