I was born into a true Christian family in Brazil, and I grew up going to Sunday School, kids conferences (at the end of one of those conferences I even walked to the front of the church to ‘accept Jesus as my Savior’), and other activities of the church. In this period of my childhood, I attended two denominations: Baptist and Methodist. I still remember how I was gladly doing the lessons during the week to be ready for the class on the next Sunday. At home I was also taught about the things of God by my mother, and encouraged by the Christian coloring books, kids’ Bible, Proverbs box, and CDs that my father and mother bought me.
In my adolescence, I started losing the desire of attending church, and it remained for some years. Yes, I was attending church sometimes during this period, and even attending camps for teenagers. I was even praying sometimes, but inside of me there was nothing of a converted person. I even attended some membership classes to become a member of a church when I was a teenager, but I was never baptized.
When I entered college, I did not become an atheist. I still believed that God does exist, and I had consciousness about sin and the fear of God, but I had no idea yet about who He really is, revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, and how He is holy, and how great His love is. Nor did I know about the greatness of His sacrifice, and the weakness and darkness of a wretched sinner like me. I was so interested in worldly things, they looked so pleasant to me. I could spend countless hours in the presence of people, but not even one hour in the presence of my Creator and Savior. Hours on TV, Internet, listening to music, theater, but no interest in Him. I remember my mother telling me “Do not delight in the things of this world, delight in the Lord.” But at that moment I had no desire of enjoying who He is. Yes, there were some random prayers when I needed anything, or even when I felt that I should thank Him for something.
Yet in all this period of my life, I could experience the truth of this verse in my life “Even if we are unfaithful, He remains faithful to us.” I mean, regardless of my undeserving, He poured out on me His mercy and grace, not allowing me to go even deeper in the darkness and delivering me from many other sins. He, by His infinite lovingkindness, gave me a Christian classmate who was really a blessing for me during my time in college, and later I discovered she was praying for me. How He is faithful in rescuing a child of His! Glory to Him forever and ever!
By the end of 2012, two Christian songs touched me somehow, and every time I listened to one of these songs, I started crying. From this day, a repentance process started, also a desire for reading the Scriptures and being alone in my bedroom praying and singing Christians songs. I heard if one wants to start reading the Bible, better to start with the Gospels. So I read two Gospels and then I began to read the Epistles, and I kept advancing into the Scriptures, and praying and singing, and my eyes were opened to things that I never understood before. Biblical truths began to be introduced in my heart. I had consciousness of my sin and I repented. I understood the Salvation Plan through Jesus Christ.
Honestly, I did not join a church at that moment, my discipleship was based on conversations with my mother, who has more experience in the Christian life. I started understanding that it’s pointless living for myself, and that it’s much better living in His will and His plans for me. My mother told me that when I was hanging out with my friends she was on her knees praying for me, asking God to keep me and to protect me from this world. My friend and classmate, Sabrina, also told me she was praying for me, and I knew of some other people who were praying for me as well, including a lady from the Baptist church who told my mother that she put my name in her notebook of prayers. I am so thankful for all the people that prayed for me, and for the Lord creating in their hearts a desire to pray for me. I know I am only in the beginning of the journey that is the Christian life. I am fully aware that He loved me and chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, that I should be holy and blameless before Him in love. (Ephesians 1:4) I have consciousness of my daily need of Him, to be like Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord, through the work of the Holy Spirit who convinces us of sin and judgment, Who also is our Comforter, until the glorious day of the Lord Jesus.