Jesus saved me. Plain and simple, that’s the fiber of my narrative! He saved me out of self-righteousness, pride, self-sufficiency and rebellion against my Creator. He has delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of my sins.
Growing up in Brazil, my family was Catholic. Jesus, however, was not Lord or Savior to me, but more a lucky charm. Despite being around church quite a bit as a child, the gospel was never shared with me, nor did I seek to understand who Jesus is through my own study of God's Word. Into my early teens, I grew passive and indifferent toward Christ and the church. However, my family sowed and nurtured seeds of family, care, laughter and love. So growing up, I felt safe in the peace of my family, grew up a happy kid and for the most part, my life was in order. On the surface, I had a wonderful upbringing.
My family immigrated to the United States in the late ‘80s. We began attending a Portuguese service at First Baptist Church of Dallas. The language and the people quickly drew my family into that community, and we found ourselves faithfully attending and hearing the gospel regularly. We thought we were being drawn to Brazilian life; little did I know the Holy Spirit was actively revealing Christ to me and drawing me to Himself through the nuances of Brazilian life and culture! The gospel was clearly explained to me during that season, and I began to understand the depth of my depravity, the beauty of God's mercy and love, Christ's redemptive work on the cross on my behalf and His free gift of salvation. At Mount Lebanon Baptist youth camp during the summer of my junior year of high school, I gave my life to Christ. Something had definitely changed in my heart following that summer, but I was lacking direction and growth. It wasn't until being discipled years later that I began to truly grow in Christ.
I met my wife serving at a college ministry where our relationship, grounded in Christ and Christian community, grew into a godly courtship and engagement. We got married in 2001, and the years since, while sometimes hard and challenging, have been absolutely amazing. I love my wife and, second to my Savior, she's the most important relationship I have! We’ve birthed five kids together and are raising six kids. Our family life is absolutely crazy, incredibly humbling and a ton of fun. Our kids stretch us to the max, and we constantly find ourselves leaning on the grace and wisdom of God to shepherd their hearts. We’re in the crux of raising our kids in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord and look forward to being used by the Lord as a family.
Hope for The Village Church
My hope for The Village is for our hearts’ deepest affections to grow for Jesus! For our deepest longings and passions to be re-oriented toward the kingdom and mission of our God in this world through Christ. Be it our pastoral leadership, staff, lay leaders, members, attendees and even those in our communities who have yet to step foot in our buildings or homes, may all our affections be for Christ and Him alone! The essence of growing our affections for Christ is becoming His disciples, and the fuel of discipleship is worship. Worship is fueled by adoration. Adoration is fueled by joy. Joy should fuel our actions; if it’s out of duty it will not last. So my prayer and hope for our church is for all our activities, from weekend worship services to the Institute to Home Groups to community outreach to church planting to missions, would all stir our affections for Jesus and further cement His mission in our hearts and lives.