“I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you .” – Isaiah 46:4
Maryann Polson visited our service one Sunday in the Tri-Cities Christian Church of South eastern Washington state, brought by her grandson, a disciple from Pullman, Washington. We had visitors from Seattle that day as well, who shared testimony and preached to our congregation. Our worship leader “rocked the house,” as Maryann related it to me when we met for the first time that afternoon. Mark, the gentleman who shared his testimony, rocked Maryann in a different way. When her grandson introduced her to our small congregation she was quite excited to meet all of us and share how the service impacted her. She was asked if she would like to study the Bible and she eagerly said “Yes.” Maryann described to me that she had been brought up in church. In fact, as she explained, she had attended the same church and sat in the same pew and listened to the same preacher for over 20 years but had not been moved like she was this particular Sunday in April 2019. We began to study with Maryann shortly thereafter.
Maryann was eager to have us in her home. We met with her weekly. She read the Bible on her own and each week had such great questions for us about what she had read. As each week went by, Gadine, Esperanza and I saw Maryann’s heart grow for God and hunger for his word. She made us lunch. She is a gracious hostess. She is intelligent, kind, a smart decorator, and quite accomplished in her career life. She loves her family. She shared stories about her life. Maryann has loved God all her life but she had not seen God before—not the way reading the Bible brought his word to life. Once Maryann learned God’s plan of salvation, she realized that she had not been baptized by immersion and felt deeply that she needed to do this.
Maryann is 81 years old. She is suffering health challenges. She desired to be baptized in the river and I and the other ladies supported her, but her health and the coming cold weather created an obstacle. Still, she was determined to be baptized by full immersion. We proceeded with the studies and on the day of her baptism she worried people would think her too old, that she had waited too long to come to Christ. I told her no, God determines the times and places, and her time was September 28, 2019, at the YMCA pool in Walla Walla, Washington. Her grandson, now living in Portland, Oregon, made the four-hour drive to Walla Walla to participate in this event, along with several other family members and our congregation from Tri Cities. Maryann was shocked to see so many people wanting to share in this special day. It was 40 degrees outside that day and raining. God knew the place, too. Amen!