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In the midst of floods, church members in Brazil use a baptistery as a boat.
Photo provided by Randy Short

When a baptistery becomes a lifeboat

ITAPETINGA, Brazil — A mobile classroom used by Churches of Christ to spread the Gospel in this South American nation recently became a rescue vehicle of another sort.

And a baptistery, where souls are saved through the watery grave of baptism, was used to save souls from water.

Torrential rains in Brazil’s northeastern Bahia state left some 16,000 people homeless across 58 municipalities. Five families who worship with a Church of Christ in Itapetinga lost everything, said missionary Randy Short. The minister emptied supplies from his mobile classroom truck and used the vehicle to rescue families and their belongings.

The small church also had a fiberglass baptistery, recently donated by the Boa Viagem Church of Christ as they constructed a new one. Church members used the old baptistery, which had not yet been installed, as a boat to rescue people stranded by floodwaters.

“The baptistery was soon returned to its original use,” Short said. On a recent Sunday, three people who had been studying with the minister were baptized. Meanwhile, flood relief work continues.

Related: ‘We brought the church with us’

“It was so encouraging to see the churches from all over Brazil come together to help,” Short said. “It was also encouraging to see the small church in Itapetinga doing so much to help the unfortunate in their community while not forgetting that there is a need greater than the immediate physical needs.”

Short and his wife, Kathy, work with Churches of Christ and a theological seminary in northeastern Brazil.

Filed under: Boa Viagem Church of Christ Brazil Brazilian missionaries flooding International News Randy Short Top Stories

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