“I graduated in Law school in 2009 and straight after I started my postgraduate degree. I started working in one of the largest offices in São Paulo and soon enough I was earning enough to have my car and pay for my expenses. Some time later, out of the office, I was invited by a publishing house to work in the academic area writing books for public tenders. Anyway, life gave me even more than a 26 year old could expect.
“But God changed my route. I met the Seventh-day Adventist Church in January 2014. Soon many truths were revealed to me, and with that eagerness for knowledge I became deeper and deeper. Until they told me about mission and this was the high point of all new discoveries. I always admired this kind of work, so I wanted to get involved. So I went to Africa with a group from UNASP, an Adventist University in São Paulo, in July 2014.
When I came back I was a whole different person. That experience I lived was very strong, I can’t deny it. For me there was no chance of living something different.
“In response to my prayers, God was putting the right people in my life and in September of 2014 I met the Amazon Lifesavers Project. I was impressed by the fact that there is a training center for missionaries with a school, student accommodation and the structure necessary to accommodate visitors.
“Finally, in October 2014, together with my fiancé I made the final decision. After much prayer, I decided to accept the call of God and become a full time missionary.
After graduating from the School of Missions, today we live on the banks of the Andirá River in the community of Pindobal. At first we had some difficulties, especially with the spiders. I suffered a mucuin attack (a local insect, smaller than the head of a pin) and I had more than 60 bites all over my body! We also had to adapt to the fact that we did not have piped water. Washing clothes in the river was something very peculiar and I have had to develop a physical resistance that I did not have before. Without mentioning showers. I confess that it was strange in the first few days to have a shower wearing clothes because we bathed in the river.
“A fact that impressed me a lot was on a Wednesday night when about 20 minutes before the service, the power in the community went out. We did not know what to do, so we decided to go to church anyway. For some reason I had the idea of playing guitar and singing hymns along the way to get the brothers’ attention, so they were aware that we would still have the program. The strategy worked so well that adults and children were joining us in the light of flashlights, singling along with the music. So we went until we reached the church. It was exciting to see those people praising the Lord under those conditions.
“I see that God put into my life many opportunities of success, money, and status, and before I knew Him I was really following this path. After all, what’s wrong with those things? It’s what the world calls the natural course of things, right? It’s the picture of a successful person. There’s really no harm in it, except for the fact that I carried a deep void inside myself.
“In response, God introduced me to missionary work and in it I was able to find the real purpose for my profession and for my life. There are days when I go to sleep exhausted, but extremely happy, because it is for a worthy cause.
“I finish with Matthew 13:44 : ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.'”
Gabi and Victor studied at the Amazon Lifesavers School of Missions. Other 12 students will begin our course next week. If you want to know more about our school, go to https://www.amazonlifesavers.org/school.