Taking a dip for God and P.E.I.

Group of Chinese immigrants to P.E.I. baptized

Mitch MacDonald comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on August 23, 2010
A Chinese member of the Community Baptist Church in Charlottetown is baptised at Tea Hill Park during a ceremony Sunday. Helping her is Matt Kennedy, left, and Sing Chi, members of a mission team from Edmonton. The baptism was carried out by Wendy Sai, a Chinese minister from Calgary who is working at the church.
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

 

It may have been the first sight of its kind on P.E.I. when a group of Chinese immigrants were baptized off the shore of Tea Hill Park Sunday. 

Nearly 100 spectators walked along the beach to see 11 Chinese and two other members of the Sherwood Road Community Baptist Church plunge underwater and proclaim their faith.

Wendy Sai, leader of the church's Chinese ministry and Taiwanese missionary, baptized the group and said the action fits into a larger plan.

"It's for church planning," said Sai.

"In Canadian history, there are no Chinese churches on P.E.I. We want to establish the first one."

As far as the group can tell after looking through past records, they've already established the first Chinese public baptism on P.E.I., said pastor Wallace Jordan.

Seeing the Chinese population build in his church during the past few months, Jordan said many tell him they want to be baptized because of an empty feeling inside.

"They're saying they've got a void inside," he said. "Their teachers and professors are telling them that you can't explain the universe and it leaves them with an irrational view of life, that's the hunger I see in them."

Andrew Li, 19, was one of the hungry ones.

Although arriving in P.E.I. a couple of weeks ago, Li said he'd been waiting for his baptism for a much longer time.

"It's amazing so many of us from China could be baptized together," said Li.

"We come from different provinces and live thousands of kilometres apart but here we are on P.E.I. In this foreign land we've found faith."

After going underwater himself, Li came out of the water holding his fists in the air and didn't stop smiling for the rest of the ceremony.

"There's a lot of words but it's hard to describe," said Li, still smiling after the ceremony ended while he walked back to the shore.

"It's just plain happiness."