My name is Tiago and I am Brazilian. I was born in 1986, in a small town in northern Brazil. When I was 8, my parents were called to the gospel of Jesus. I was baptized and made my public profession of faith in a Presbyterian Church. Since that time, I myself became a Christian, or at least I thought so. However, until I was 18, I never really took my Christian life very seriously. I lived “without God in the world”, deceiving others and myself. I attended the service and had Christian friends, but I didn’t know Christ.
When I was 18, I moved to another city to go to college. I applied for a bachelor degree in Engineering of Materials, but I couldn’t complete it. At that time, God started to give me strong convictions of sin. I had no more peace with sin and I hated myself because I was unable to live a better life as a Christian. After a long time struggling with the Holy Spirit I came to understand that I needed a Savior. And God presented me, through the Bible, my dear Savior Jesus Christ. He was there all the time, but I didn’t know him. Since then I have rested in Him for salvation and not myself.
When I was 26 I moved to my current city where I work for the Brazilian Prosecution Office. I also teach a youth class at the Presbyterian Church. I always had the desire of having a sound theological education. My ministry dream is to became a bi-vocacional leader and work as a Youth Leader. When I found CLI, I was very happy because we don’t have a seminary in my city.
CLI gives me the opportunity to prepare myself for the challenges we face in Brazil. Our people are suffering much because our spiritual and secular leaders are extremely corrupt. The prosperity theology has ruined many souls. There is a cloud of despair in the air, a fear of the future. The spiritual condition of the people is awful. The youth face the danger of drugs, sexual liberation and unemployment. Even the Christian Youth are affected. We have young people who need encouragement to live out the Christian faith. They don’t want to preach the gospel. They don’t have a life of prayer and intimacy with the Lord. That’s our deplorable condition. So, the work is hard and abundant but many are the opportunities as well. My pastor is encouraging me to pursue theological education, so that I can help more effectively in the ministry of the church. My wife, Ilsa, is also very understanding, and is giving me support.
CLI is a unique opportunity for me, and I will improve with it the best I can. May God bless you and strengthen you so that we all continue to fulfill his mandate.