The Lents Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon celebrated five baptisms during the month of June 2022.
David Kokiong, Lents Church pastor who joined their team last year, was felt to be an answer to over a year of prayer by the members.
Kokiong had previously served as youth pastor at the Hinsdale Fil-Am Adventist Church in Hinsdale, Illinois. Kokiong’s Chinese and Filipino cultural heritage meshes well with the broad diversity of the Lents Church. Raised in Canada, Kokiong speaks French as well as English.
Kokiong’s desire to visit with church members led him to reach out to Maude Conant. She invited him to connect with her son and daughter-in-law to answer their questions about the Sabbath. Felicia, Maude’s daughter-in-law, explored the Sabbath with others, but still had many questions.
“A Bible lesson study by Kokiong finally answered my question,” said Felicia, “and I decided right then I would get baptized.” Felicia’s husband, Jeff Conant, and a neighbor, Johnny Johnson, all members of the same Bible study, were baptized on June 4, 2022. After Jeff’s baptism, he exclaimed, “Hallelujah!”
On June 11, 2022, Kokiong baptized Terry Loucks. Terry’s sister, Cindy, had been baptized six months earlier after Kokiong conducted fall evangelistic meetings. Terry began coming to church with his sister, and soon asked to be baptized. He attended to Bible studies led by church members Jerson and Repell Caluya Maude and Kokiong. When Terry came out of the baptismal waters he said, “I praise God, the Almighty God, for allowing me to be baptized!”
Kelsey Christensen was baptized on June 18, 2022. Christensen first learned about God years earlier through her foster parents, Fred and Polly Harvey, members of Lents church. When Christensen recontacted the Harvey’s letting them know that she had brain cancer, Polly organized Bible Studies at Christensen’s home with Carol Henry and Kokiong. Christensen decided to reconnect with the church through baptism. Christensen said, “I want to thank Jesus for loving me.”
The church members who witnessed the baptisms shared in the joy, but those who had an active part in their loved ones’ decisions had priceless expressions of thankfulness to the Lord.