Advance Magazine
Spring 2024

Trois Baptêmes (Three Baptisms)

Baptisms are a joy for missionaries to perform. Each represents God’s unique work in individual lives, evidence that the gospel is taking deeper root on mission fields. Last May, the two-generation missionary team of Randy and Patricia Laase and Jonathan and Priscilla Laase had the joy of seeing three ladies baptized in Draguignan, France. Each woman came with a unique story of God’s grace and timing.


When Carina began coming to church with her family four years ago, she was living with her boyfriend, the father of two of her children. The messages she heard each week filtered through her heart. She was already a believer, and those pure words exposed her sin, making her realize her living situation did not please God. In fall 2022, Randy performed the ceremony uniting her and her boyfriend in marriage. God’s words worked in one of Carina’s sons as well. The Sunday after the wedding, the Laases baptized him as a testimony of his new faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. Carina, likewise, saw her need to take this step, and she made her own faith public in May 2023.


Another lady who entered the baptistry that day was Magali. Her story traced back 20 years to when Randy and Patricia began their ministry in Draguignan. God had already been working in Magali’s mother. She was a believer but became convicted of her need for baptism. Finding the Laases’ new church, she was the first person Randy baptized in Draguignan. The family’s time at church was cut short sometime later when they had to move to Paris. The Laases had little contact with them until their adult daughter Magali returned to church with her eight-year-old son. Like her mother, Magali was now ready to pursue baptism.

Magali’s return to church had a far-reaching effect on her family. Back in Paris, her older sister and her three daughters began listening online to the weekly messages from the Laases’ church. Patricia had led this sister to Christ 20 years ago when the family first began attending in Draguignan. It was such a joy two decades later to baptize another sister in the same baptistry as their mother.


The Lord led each woman through a long journey to the day of their baptism in May 2023. None had a longer journey than Yolande. She grew up in a mixed religious family. Her mother was Catholic and her father was a nominal Protestant. When her mother later became a Jehovah’s Witness and tried converting her family, Yolande wanted no part in it. Her parents’ religious beliefs made her conclude that all religions were a waste of time.

Throughout most of her life, this was Yolande’s stance. But when she retired, the extra time on her hands led to soul searching. Was there something to Christianity after all? She picked up a Bible, determined to read it for herself. What she found was a completely different Savior than she imagined. The Bible came alive—living and active words that gave answers to life’s concerns. Yolande received the Savior that she read about on those pages. As she applied Scripture to her life, she was freed from fear and found peace.

Yolande was not yet baptized and knew she needed to take that step. Not knowing where to go, she began a new search that led her to the Laases’ church. She and Patricia connected through months of Bible studies. Yolande came to understand not only her need to be baptized but also to become part of a church family. At age 76, Yolande obeyed the Lord in believer’s baptism. As with Carina’s and Magali’s families, Yolande’s family attended her baptism. To the Laases’ joy, they asked many questions, wanting to know more about the church and, more importantly, about the Savior that Yolande was now following.

Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the spiritual regeneration of those who follow Him. Through God’s grace and timing, three people in France are reflecting that new life, faithfully following Christ with a contagious influence spreading to those around them.

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