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94-year-old woman murdered the night after turning to Christ

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (BP)–Simple statistics — medical care provided to 2,500 people in Rio de Janeiro, with 220 becoming Christians — tell only part of the story of a missions team of 30 volunteers from the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship.
A 94-year-old woman was among the patients who became a Christian, said Eddy Hallock, a Southern Baptist missionary to Brazil.
“That night she was murdered,” Hallock said, of the woman whose eternal future had been secured just hours earlier.
“One night a special service was held for the drug traffickers,” Hallock also noted. “Five of them raised their hand wanting to make a decision for the Lord.”
And one girl who led a shoplifting gang with 20 other girls became a Christian.
It was the first volunteer medical trip for Douglas Cotton, a dentist who teaches a fourth-grade Sunday school class with his wife at St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.
Describing Rio as a city of “contrasts,” with its 11 million people along the coast of Brazil, Cotton said, “The slum areas were pretty bad.” Small shacks with poor sewage lined the hillsides, he said.
“We saw kids sleeping on the street,” Cotton said. “A lot of the children we saw and treated had lice and intestinal parasites.”
The trip also included physicians, pharmacists, nurses and several laypeople. As one of the dentists, Cotton averaged 150 patients a day in a free clinic, performing mostly extractions, exams, fluoride treatments and other evaluations.
Volunteers, who worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day with patients, came from six states and paid their own way for the January trip, averaging $1,900 each for ticket and expenses.
“Since being in Rio, requests have come in for more medical teams,” Cotton said. “There is a team going in April, two teams in August, and four teams in October.”
For more information, contact the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship at [email protected] or (901) 227-5971.
The fellowship encompasses 1,750 health professionals in 43 states and seven countries.

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  • Clay Renick