Like many, Carlos, 22, was born into a divided house. As Jesus warned, it could not stand. When he was four-years-old his parents separated, and he went to live with his grandmother until he was 13. He then lost the home he had with her and had to go stay a week with his mother, then every other week with his father. From then until he was an adult, he would move back and forth every week.
In all this instability, he wasn’t given religious mooring, but does remember attending church once a month when he was at his mother’s home. When he turned 20, he went to live with his mother and attended church with her weekly.
After High School he went to college graduating last June with a degree in Gastronomy. He now works full-time helping his mother’s small restaurant in downtown Recife.
Luciana, one of Carlos’ aunts, is a neighbor of Fernando Pinheiro, a member of the downtown congregation (Boa Vista). Fernando invited her to take a course in the School of the Bible early last year. She liked it so much, she invited Carlos to take a subsequent course with her. It was “How to Read and Understand the Bible”. This is a popular course geared to introduce people from the community to their Bible. Carlos loved it and found something that had been lacking from his life.
After the first Bible course he took another called “Theology of Salvation” which I taught. This course is based on the Book of Romans. We entitle it as we do because this is more attractive to the public. Here’s an oversimplified outline of the main points I want to teach them;
- Our Fatal Disease – Sin (Chapters 1—3a),
- God’s Gracious Cure – Life in Jesus (Chapters 3b—5) and
- Our Acceptance of this Cure – Following the Spirit’s Guidance (Chapters 6—8)
After finishing this course Carlos realized that what he needed was Jesus in control of his life. He put on the Lord in baptism the following Sunday.
Since then he has become involved in several of the church’s ministries, which is an important factor for spiritual growth.
After seeing the change in her cousin’s life. Camila, 21, became interested in knowing more. She started coming to church with Carlos and took a course in the School of the Bible. As she learned about Jesus, she decided to give her life to Him and was baptized.
Carlos has finally found a secure home in Jesus and the abundant life He offers. He has brought his cousin Camila with him.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” – Eph. 3:17 (NLT)