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Behind bars, but hearts open in Brazil penitentiary

RECIFE, Brazil (BP)–Bible studies and music lessons have netted at least 120 decisions for Christ in Barreto Campelo Penitentiary in Recife, Brazil.
Volunteers from First Baptist Church in Norman, Okla., and inmates of the prison helped build a chapel there to allow the Bible studies to expand.
About 220 prisoners indicated interest in participating.
Construction of the chapel “has caused widespread impact,” said Charlotte Greenhaw, who serves with her husband, Houston, as an International Mission Board missionary to Recife. “The director has given me authorization to come and go from the prison on any day and at any time.
“Houston has been counseling 10 couples who are anxious to get married now that they are Christians. The men are asking questions about Jesus, about the Bible, about loving one another, and God is opening doors at a rate that is unbelievable.”
The chapel was the brainchild of four inmates (three Nigerians and one Pole) who received Christ during the Greenhaws’ prison Bible studies.
Greenhaw and her husband arranged to have the prisoners brought to the church for baptism, which had never been done.
“After testifying of the Lord what Christ had done in their lives, these men … had their handcuffs removed so they could walk into the baptismal waters of Casa Amarela Baptist Church,” said Eddy Hallock, Mrs. Greenhaw’s brother, who serves with his wife, Brenda, as a missionary in Rio de Janeiro. “As they came up the steps, out of the water on the other side, handcuffs were again fastened to their wrists.
“The police cars drove them back to the penitentiary, but those men were free indeed.”
The men hope to return to their native countries as evangelists.
Charlotte Greenhaw and Eddy Hallock are the children of Edgar and Zelma Hallock, emeritus Southern Baptist missionaries to Brazil.

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  • Jenny Rogers