‘Pastor, Could We Break the Ice?’

A young woman showed that nothing would stop her from public profession of giving her heart to Jesus.

Sarah Little, for Mid-America Union Outlook
‘Pastor, Could We Break the Ice?’
Jared Little (with hand raised) baptizes Allison McDonald in a lake in Shoreview, Minnesota, United States, November 23, 2023. [Photo: The Way Seventh-day Adventist Church]

For members of The Way Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shoreview, Minnesota, United States, November 25, 2023, is a day that will be remembered for years to come. It was a cold Saturday (Sabbath), especially for a lake baptism, as the temperature was only 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius). But that was not the biggest challenge of the day. Not only was the air frigid, but so was the water, as the church was soon to find out.

The previous Monday, church pastor Jared Little received a phone call from Allison McDonald, expressing her desire to be baptized. She had been attending the church for about three years and had studied the Bible extensively. Little was excited to see that, after he asked her several questions and reviewing biblical truth, it was clear that she had a deep love for Jesus and a thorough understanding of the Bible. Little asked when she would like to be baptized.

Allison McDonald and Jared Little, pastor of The Way Seventh-day Adventist Church. [Photo: The Way Seventh-day Adventist Church]

“As soon as possible!” Allison responded.

Naturally, the question of where the baptism would take place was next. To Little’s surprise, Allison wanted to be baptized in a lake near the church.

He said, “I have never baptized someone in a lake this late in the year, but I’m willing to give it a try. If the lake is frozen over, what do you want me to do?”

Allison asked, “Pastor, could we break the ice?”

Her love of Jesus and nature fueled her desire to be in creation for this special event. Little could not refuse such a sincere request.

That Sabbath afternoon, Little arrived at the lake early. Yes, it was indeed frozen over. Wearing several layers of clothes and chest waders, he walked halfway down the pier and broke through an inch or two of ice. He jumped in to test the depth and threw away several chunks of ice to clear the area, being careful not to get wet as he did it.

Allison arrived wearing several layers and some protective clothing. Church members stood nearby with blankets and towels and made sure a car was nearby. Another friend, wearing chest waders, got in as well in case of an emergency. As bundled-up church members watched, Allison was buried in the icy waters of baptism. Later, she declared she barely felt the cold because she was so excited.

Allison’s commitment and desire to follow Jesus is inspiring and a challenge for each of us to follow Him no matter what.

The original version of this story was posted by the Mid-America Union Outlook.

Sarah Little, for Mid-America Union Outlook