A moving baptismal ceremony crowned one family’s journey from a first contact with Seventh-day Adventists at a traffic stop to the fullness of Bible truth. The ceremony took place in Araquari, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on April 7, 2018, but the journey started more than a year before in another town when Christian and Jacqueline Pissaia, together with their daughter Luana, met an unexpected flash mob at a traffic light.
On Global Youth Day
It was March 18, 2017, the day Adventist youth leaders had chosen for Global Youth Day, an annual day of special focus on Adventist Youth acts of service and outreach around the world. In Corupá, Santa Catarina, local Adventist young people took a downtown traffic light stop by storm, as they held banners asking drivers to honk, offered free hugs to passers-by, sang inspirational songs, and shared Christian literature.
As the Pissaias were driving by, they were pleasantly surprised by the young people’s organization, drive, and earnest affection. In fact, they were so impressed that they decided to drive around for a second and a third time to really understand what was happening. The third time they drove by, the Adventist group had left the traffic light. The Pissaias were relieved, however, to find them at a nearby Adventist church.
“That day, I believe God got hold of my car’s handbrake and did not allow us to move other than to get into that church,” said Cristian the day of his and his family’s baptism.
After that first encounter with the Adventist flash mob in March 2017, the Pissaias began to attend the local Pathfinder Club program and church services. In early 2018, the family became involved with Caleb Mission, a teenage and youth-driven program that encourages volunteers to spend their vacation time in acts of service to other people.
In February 2018, the Pissaias got notice that their daughter had won a scholarship to pursue a degree in Teaching at the Parana Adventist Institute, something that brought the family even closer to the Adventist Church.
The Pissaias’ baptismal ceremony took place as a group of 500 Adventist young people were taking part in a special weekend of training for mission. The group of young people who witnessed the ceremony felt moved to tears when they realized how a simple act of connecting with people on the street went such a long way to make a difference for eternity.
Right on the Street
People often think that simple actions such as flash mobs, free hugs, and similar are not effective for calling people’s attention to Bible truth, said regional youth leader Felippe Amorim. “The life experience of this family, however, tells us a different story.”
Amorim emphasized that anything we can do to build God’s kingdom is significant. “Every time we set out to do something for God’s kingdom, He makes sure our simple actions reach the hearts of all those who need to meet Jesus,” said Amorim. “Our role is to do something. Then the Holy Spirit will take care of convicting people.”
Once again, he emphasized, the focus of God’s mission is not on us.
“God wants us to get involved in His mission. He will make our actions successful,” he said.