What a wonderful story of salvation at the United States Military Academy. Jesus is good, all the time.
A pair of cadets at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, N.Y., celebrated a day they are not likely to forget any time soon. On Feb. 12, Brooke Parker and Zhaoxin (Jenny) Ma were baptized by Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) director Joshua Austin in an icy Hudson River.
The two cadets had other options: wait for the warmer weather of spring or be baptized in a baptistry that is in the basement of a chapel on campus. But both cadets felt like the choice was clear.
“The basement almost felt like hiding my faith as few people would be able to attend and celebrate with me the good things God has done,” said Parker, “and nobody would be able to just happen upon this event as they would if I were to be baptized outside. This would eliminate a big opportunity to share this experience and Christ with others who may not have previously considered attending.”
So, the indoor baptistry was eliminated as an option.
“I didn’t want to wait any longer to show others what God has done for me and what God can do, which is why I chose to get baptized in the icy waters,” Ma said. “I couldn’t wait any longer to show others all His greatness but also to proclaim to God that I am His, and I welcome Him into my heart, and I want to follow Him.”
Austin, a North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionary, received the go-ahead from the USMA Chaplaincy chain of command, and 60 onlookers stood on the banks of the Hudson to witness the two ladies share their testimonies and receive baptism.
Austin shared a brief message about the free gift of grace from Ephesians 2 before wading out into what he described as “painfully frigid waters.”
“They have boldly taken advantage of every opportunity to tell others about what baptism means to them and what Christ has done in their lives,” Austin said.