A church in Brazil is mourning the death of its pastor and his wife after the couple died while trying to rescue their 13-year-old son from drowning at the beach.
Felisberto Sampaio and his wife Inalda spotted their son Ian struggling to swim while on a family outing at Camaçari Beach in Paraíba last Tuesday.
The couple went into the ocean to rescue him but were unable to reach the teenager. While Ian was pulled from the water by a fisherman and another family, attempts to rescue his parents failed.
The Fire Department confirmed to local news outlet UOL that the couple was declared dead at the scene after several attempts to revive them.
The couple had been pastoring the Assembly of God Church in Quixaba, Paraíba for 12 years. Their sudden death was mourned by churchgoers, including Leonardo Meneses, a pastor at a church Felisberto and Inalda frequently attended.
“I know that the circumstances are painful and difficult for us to understand; only eternity will explain all the mysteries of life”, he said.
One of the couple's neighbours wrote on Facebook: “A servant couple of God, a true example as Christians who were loved and cherished by all those they lived with. MAY GOD OF INFINITE MERCY RECEIVE THEM IN THE KINGDOM OF HIS GLORY AND MAY THEY REST IN PEACE!”
The couple's oldest son, Issac, told TV Borborema “God’s strength” was sustaining him and quotes the Bible teaching “honour your father and mother".