William and Crystal Enete

Before video games and YouTube, William and Crystal pioneered the use of creative media to win the attention of their listeners.

Known as “Uncle Billy” and “Aunt Crystal,” William and Crystal Enete used movies, illusion and chalk talks as they shared the gospel for more than 40 years throughout Brazil. William’s most creative ministry came through his ventriloquist dolls, Johnny and Sammy.

Johnny came to life after William helped with a Vacation Bible School and found he loved teaching children. He wanted to find a way to grab their attention, so he spent time at the Baptist Publishing House in Rio de Janiero building a doll to use for ventriloquism. Johnny helped Uncle Billy teach important life lessons, such as honesty, respect and obedience. The two also shared Bible stories and challenged children to follow Jesus.

Sammy, a professionally made ventriloquist doll, joined the Enetes in their ministry when a woman in the U.S. donated the doll to the couple during their first furlough. For the next several decades, Sammy was Uncle Billy’s constant companion and a tool that introduced tens of thousands of people to Christ throughout Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

Though critics claimed his methods were sensational and his lessons simplistic, Uncle Billy reached people no one else was reaching. He brought the message of Christ beyond the walls of the church and into the hard-to-reach places of South America.

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