All the things that I believe are the things that I stand for. Not only in spiritual matters, but also in matters of life. I stand for love, relationship, fellowship. I stand for life, abundant and full of joy. I stand for spiritual life as well as physical. I stand for a healthy mind, soul and body, I stand for spiritual experiences. I stand for a core of values.
2. What are you discontent about? Why?
Discontentment for me is not something that happens and stays for long periods of time. Discontentment is temporary and short. Long periods of discontentment are to me disappointments.
For this reason, there are more things that I am disappointed about than discontented about. As Brazilian and Christian, the political situation in my country brings to me disappointment and sadness. Today, most politicians in Brazil are involved with corruption and all kinds of crime against public money. Not even those who claim themselves “evangelicals” are separated from all the scandals that recently emerged.
Another thing that brings me disappointment is the actual church movement called Neo Pentecostalism. This movement is different from Classical Pentecostalism; the leaders of this movement distort the message in order to support their views (most of the time the message is about prosperity or spiritual warfare/exorcisms). Again, I am talking about Brazil and the growing church over there. When you study the Bible and know what Christianity is really all about, you can easily see all the damage that this movement is bringing to the life of people.
I always get disappointed with situations that I cannot change with my own efforts. Regarding discontentment, I would say that right now, when I type these words, there is nothing that I can remember that I could be discontent about.
3. What brings you suffering? Why?
The Bible says that “…the whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 Jo 5.19). It might explain suffering in the world. I suffer, seeing others suffering. Today’s world is filled by catastrophes, illness, hunger, violence, disrespect and so on. I am directly affected by others suffering even if I am not present, or even if I do not know the person. Looking at the world suffering, I would be embarrassed to point to my own sufferings. I would laugh about my sufferings if I would compare my suffering with that of a poor person in my country. I am a blessed man. But I suffer. Sounds contradictory but is not.
All nature suffers; so do I. I suffer with the distance that I am from my family and girlfriend, I suffer as international student in a country that I am still learning how to live in and with the feeling of always being an outsider. I suffer with my struggle in the process of learning a foreign language, and I suffer with my incapacity to change things that bring me disappointment.
4. What makes you weep and wail? Why?
When I was a child, any physical hurt had the power to bring tears to my eyes. Today, the rivers of tears have dried and my body pain has no more power over my emotions. However, there is still one river that flows from my soul and my psyche. My emotions today are driven by my heart. I have not experienced the loss of any close relative or the loss of parents. I am pretty sure that when it happens, I will cry like a baby and my heart will hurt as if someone were pulling it out of my chest. I would rather prefer to die first than see any of my “people” die.
5. What makes you jump for joy? Why?
There are not many things in this world that would make me jump for joy. Maybe one would be when I see people that have had some bad life experiences, especially with drugs and alcohol, become free through the power of Jesus, repent of their sins and convert to Him. This is awesome! Heavens and I jump for joy because of that. Another motive for great joy in my life is when I go back to visit Brazil and see my mom, dad, friends from my church and also my girlfriend. Maybe the last reason for me to jump for joy is when Brazil’s soccer team, wins the World Cup. When it happens, the whole nation explodes with joy and I share in that same contentment.
6. What are you passionate about? Why?
I am passionate for what I do. My field of study is wonderful, I love it. I am really passionate about studying theology. But, the main reason is not only to study and get full of knowledge, but what I really intend with all this education that I am getting, is to teach others at an academic level. One specific area of study that is really growing within me is Church History, especially history from the last six hundred years. I am really thinking about writing a book about the history of the Church in Latin America, with concentration in Brazil, from the discovery of the new world to our days.
7. What keeps you awake at night? Why?
Well, before my conversion, a good party was enough to keep me awake the whole night long. Thanks to God that I have changed, and today I would say that my studies are the number one reason for keeping me awake. But, unfortunately I have other reasons that also have the power to keep my eyes open when I should be already sleeping. One of these extra reasons would be worries of life, especially regarding my financial situation. Another would be anxiety about something that is to happen. I hate to admit that I am anxious, but anxiety is something that I have to learn to live with and try to overcome, because it is a great issue in my life.
My conviction of faith in Jesus Christ is what I won’t ever let go. My dreams and goals of life are also what I long for and only in a catastrophic situation would I open my hand and let go of it. Some opportunities in life are given by God and once grabbed you can never let them go, unless you want to be for the rest of your life a frustrated man.
9. What do you want for your life? Why?
I want to honor God. I want complete my academic studies with a Doctor’s degree. I also want to serve the Lord and His people in some way. My passion is teaching. I also love to preach. Mission is something very interesting to me as well, especially overseas.
I want to have balance in all areas of my life. To know how to balance ministry, family and other duties of life is not an easy task.
Regarding family, I want to get married, and have children. I want to help my mom and dad also in whatever they need.
I want be disciplined with my spiritual life. Maybe this is my biggest struggle.
I also want to help others through the gifts that God has given and is still giving me.