Three special needs boys were baptized Saturday, a first for the Santa Clarita Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newhall.
The boys baptized were Cameron Perry, Memen Hassen and Alex Larios. They were all a part of the “My Friend’s House” special needs program at the church, located at 24436 Valley St.
The head of “My Friend’s House,” Brett Perry, describes it as a hands-on program to teach religion to those with disabilities in a way that they can understand.
“It’s having compassion and understanding and individualizing each approach depending on each student’s reach, each need,” said the teacher of the program, Delmy Calderon, “because they are not all the same.”
Getting the boys to the moment of being baptized was a two-year-long process, the pandemic being a main component of delaying this. Perry, Calderon and the parents wanted the boys to understand exactly what it meant to be baptized. Calderon taught the boys through demonstration of putting a Jesus doll in a bucket of water and constantly interviewing them on what they had learned about baptism.
Cameron and Memen had personally approached their fathers wanting to be baptized.
“One day he came to me and he said that he wants to be baptized,” said Memen’s father, Yonatan Hassen. “He told me that he loved Christ, he loved God, he loved the Holy Spirit.”
Being baptized not only signified how far these boys have come with their religious teachings, but also was a testament to their faith.
“It’s just a public affirmation of their faith,” said Perry. “It’s them telling everybody else that they love God and they want to be a part of his family.”