David

Before going to the Universal Church and coming to know God, my life was destroyed. At the age of 12, I began to discover things in me that were not normal for a young child. I was sad and cried a lot for no reason. At school, I always had a smile on my lips, but when I was alone, tears rolled down my face. So I began listening to black metal music, which was the only music that “calmed” me during those moments of loneliness. Some time later, I found out that this genre of music has strong ties to Satanism. So I decided to take it upon myself to be a follower of Satan.

I grew up with this mindset. With each day that passed, the ideas linked to Satanism grew in my mind. My hair was long and I always wore black. I only had a few friends that were like me, so I decided to write songs that spoke against churches. When I sang, my voice sounded like the voice of an evil spirit. I would cut my hands just to see the blood run out of the cuts, then I would drink my own blood and smear it on my eyes and satanic medal I carried around my neck. I would transform.

I smoked and drank a lot with my friends. My family was being destroyed because of me, my mother suffered very much. This is when my mother decided to fight for me at the Universal Church, because she did not accept the situation and revolted against the evil that was in my life. I remember saying to her: “Nobody is going to change me. This is how I am, and this is how I will be forever”. But there was a conviction inside her and she was sure that I was going to change and accept God.

After much perseverance and participating of the Israel Challenge, my mother received an answer, and I changed! My mindset began to change and I put that life of darkness behind me. Today I am a new person. I was delivered from the addictions, depression and Satanism. I stopped hanging around with the wrong crowd and I am no longer attracted to evil. My mindset and attitude changed completely, and today my family is a blessing!

Davide

Hector

My name is Hector Luan and I’m 25 years old. I was raised in a troubled home; my parents were addicted to alcohol and cigarettes. When I was 7 years old, someone from the Universal Church evangelized my mother. She began attending meetings and soon after, we also went. One year later, my 19-year-old sister committed suicide. Four months after, my mother died of diabetes, according to the diagnosis.

My father hit us every day, had several lovers and spent several days away from home; our family was completely destroyed. After my sister’s death, a voice constantly told me to make use of her belongings (clothes, accessories, makeup etc.). One month later, my father brought one of his girlfriends to live with us. There were many parties and her relatives often came over our house. Early one morning, one of her brothers tried to abuse me. One of our neighbors also tried several times until I was about 10 years old.

At the age of 14, I moved in with my godparents and began acting like a female. They accepted me the way that I wanted to be. I became Sabrina and demanded that everyone acknowledged it. My father did not accept me and wanted to hit me in the middle of the street. Still in Para-Brazil, I started selling my body, which took on the shape of a woman’s body.

I came to São Paulo at the age of 17 with the intention to make money by selling my body. A total deception. I did make a lot of money from the age of 17 to 20, but there was a void inside that could not be filled by all the alcohol, men, women or money I ever made. When evening came, I locked myself in my apartment, drinking and using drugs, crying, all alone, without friends or relatives or any kind of affection. The following day, I woke up with no money and still feeling empty. This went on day after day. Many times, when I didn’t have enough money to get hard liquor, I would drink pure alcohol.

In the city of Campinas – Sao Paulo, I was introduced to crack, that’s when I hit rock bottom, I lost my “beauty” (which I used to make money) and my health. I got down to about 120lbs and no longer made as much money as I did before. I tried to commit suicide several times. During a rave, I drank too much and was hospitalized in an alcohol-induced coma. I tried to kill myself by jumping off an overpass, but two homeless people took me down by force, thinking I was a woman, and prevented me from killing myself. Afterwards, we smoked crack together. I lived under a bridge, and that is where I found a boyfriend, who was also homeless.

One night, after getting really high, I saw a shadow that made me feel very uneasy. I had not slept or eaten for 15 days. That night, I almost had an accident on the 3rd floor of an abandoned building. At that moment, I threw the drugs away and looked up at the sky. It was a starry night, which reminded me of God and I prayed, “If You change my life, I’ll put all this behind me and seek a better life.”

A week later, a man appeared at that building. I was drunk and high. I was there with my ex-boyfriend and one of his friends. The man looked at me and said that I was “the only one that was sincere.” He asked me if I wanted to change my life and I said, “I don’t know how, but I want to, and if I had a chance I would grab on to it with tooth and nails.”

On Saturday, he brought us to Diadema, in Sao Paulo. I saw the Universal Church located in the September 7th neighborhood, and said, “I’m not going in there!” On Sunday, at 3pm, I was there, sitting in the first row, dressed as Sabrina. I went back on Monday and Tuesday, and was delivered from all evil. Everyone in Church was alarmed to see me on Wednesday, when I returned as Hector. Now they knew that the Sabrina, who had arrived on Sunday, was actually Hector. From that day forth, I never went back to that sinful life. I quit using drugs, was delivered from homosexuality, prostitution, depression, the desire to die and the void I felt was filled by the Holy Spirit, that completely transformed me and made me a new man, 100 % happy.

Hector Luan

Amanda

Until the age of 7, I was a normal child. However, from that age on I wanted to be different. At the age of 9, I dyed my hair blonde (this was not common at that time, I was one of the few children that did this). It all started very early. At the age of 11, I was going out to parties and nightclubs, and hanging out with the wrong crowd. I started getting piercings and my look conveyed rebellion. I was surrounded by drugs, alcohol and promiscuity, but I was afraid to get involved. The problems at home increased, so I started doing everything that I previously thought was disgusting.

My dream was to be a model, and this actually happened. As I grew up surrounded by this confusion, things just got worse. I got more piercings and dyed my hair different colors. I took controversial photos and posted them on the Internet. I became well known, many people copied me, my style and the things I did. My career took off; I was doing fashion shows, photo shoots, international jobs, etc. I was recognized and even had fans. I was surrounded by people and often smiled, but the void remained inside.

After suffering bullying for 3 years, it made me hate people, I was no longer the same; I no longer cared about anything. At 15, I began hanging out in downtown São Paulo, attending gay events at Ibirapuera, Augusta and Paulista nightclubs, where I was always accompanied by those “friends”. Friends, who ripped out the pages of the Bible to make marijuana cigarettes, drank all night long, snorted cocaine and cursed and blasphemed against God. Among all that commotion, something bothered me. Often, I would think: “What am I doing here? Why am I doing this?”, because I believed in God and knew that I shouldn’t be there, but the more I tried, the more I got involved.

I ran away from home, started smoking and drinking every weekend, went out on Friday and returned on Sunday or Monday. I got involved in relationships with women; I thought that I was born that way because I had a sexual experience with a childhood friend. I cursed, spoke in slang, heard voices and saw shadows that would choke me at night. Once, I even called the police because I thought someone had broken into my house.

Though I was popular, my love life was in ruins. None of my relationships worked out. I wasn’t happy with anyone. Everything went wrong, I fought with my parents and was on the brink of death several times. After living through all this, I couldn’t take the suffering and grief any longer.

I was sick. I had a heart murmur, which doctors said I would not make it past the age of 15. I had gastritis, which hadn’t allowed me to eat properly in over a month due to the pain. I no longer slept because there was a black shadow that choked me every night, so I would lie awake in fear and sleep during the day.

My life had no purpose. A voice would say that there was no solution. My family’s finances were in ruins, no one believed in me, I saw no way out, I was desperate! Until my mother, without telling me, transferred me to a new school, because my old school almost sent me to Child Services. She enrolled me in the neighborhood school, which was close to home and in front of the Universal Church. At first, I refused to go, but since there were no other options, I went. From the moment I set foot in the school, I knew that I would be rejected. But I was surprised when some of my peers came to talk to me. We became friends and they invited me to the VYG. They told me how they used to be and I became interested, but was afraid of what my friends would think. How could I go to Church looking like I did? Everyone would judge me! I declined their invitations for about a month, until the 17th of April 2011.

As soon as I stepped foot in the Church, I saw a difference. Everyone hugged me, took care of me. I didn’t really understand what they were saying, but I wanted to be around them, I wanted to change my life! So I continued attending meetings and seeing a change day after day… As God transformed my interior, my exterior changed as well. The piercings, the different colored hair, the addiction to cigarettes, the drinking, the bisexuality… none of it made sense any longer, so I renounced it ALL! And God honored me, I joined the VYG, I started sharing my experiences with other youth and helping them, just like I was once helped. A desire to win souls began growing inside, to help those who are suffering and lead them to the peace and happiness I had received.

I had the desire to be an assistant and, after enduring many battles, God anointed me to do His work. This love for souls grows more each day. Today, I am part of the VYG because someone believed in me and I believe in other youths. Spiritually, I am completely accomplished because I received the Holy Spirit, have a blessed job, have peace at home and best of all: I am sure of my salvation!

Amanda Kislley

Jude Melo

Jude Melo suffered with anxiety since childhood.

Isolated and without many friends, she attempted suicide for the first time at the age of 9, after her parents divorced. Time passed and she was introduced to the world of fame. She started a modeling career and, some time later, became a background dancer in a band.

At age 14, after failing to pass the school year, her mother forbade her to continue dancing professionally, which caused even more anger in the adolescent. This was when she attempted suicide for the second time.

Jude continued dancing, until she was invited to be part of a group that toured throughout the country. This was when the young dreamer first had contact with drugs, taking part of parties and orgies.

Even among such apparent euphoria and joy, Jude became depressed, which made her try to put an end to her life for the third time.

The sparkle of fame was no longer fulfilling. At the end of each show, the emptiness grew. She felt like there was something missing. Despite being constantly surrounded by her peers, she felt alone, forgotten and used.

During a tour of shows in Ceará – Brazil, Jude met a young man, who she fell madly in love with. It seemed like he held the solution to all of her problems in his hands. Finally, happiness was knocking at her door. Surprisingly, even though she believed this young man was the love of her life, he physically and psychologically abused her. Soon, the romance ended.

Still during the tour, in Fortaleza, the young woman explains that she was overcome by an inexplicable anger during the shows, where she would often attack the other dancers that shared the stage with her. Jude would push them so that they could get hurt and be unable to perform. She wanted to “shine” by herself.

One day, which was supposed to be like any other day, the young woman woke up feeling more depressed than usual. She spent the entire day locked in her room, crying and thinking about taking her life once again. She recalled that a group of people climbed a hill, near the building where she lived, to prayer. She immediately thought: “If those people go up there to seek the living God, He will deliver me. If not, I’m going to end my life today.”

She left home determined, but was soon approached by a woman who gave her a message, causing her to go back home and spend the rest of the day reflecting.

Seeing that her daughter was destroying her life and she wasn’t able to do anything to change that situation, Jude’s mother and sister began to fight for her at the Universal Church. A difficult uphill battle began in favor of the spiritual deliverance of the entire family. They were all overcome by the Holy Spirit in a short period of time. Making others realize the change that occurred within each one was not difficult. “During a phone call, I noticed a peace in my mother’s voice like I had never seen before,” recalls Jude.

During some time, her mother fought in her favor.

Jude remembers that her mother always asked the assistants to put her daughter’s name in the prayer book, and that, by faith, she would see her transformed and be a part of the VYG.

Upon returning to Bahia, the dancer decided to take a closer look at what caused her family’s transformation. For the first time, Jude set foot in a Universal Church. She put everything behind her and decided to wholeheartedly surrender to God’s purposes.

Today, at age 22, Jude Melo attends a dance course at the Federal University of Bahia and develops her talent by leading the Cultural Project, with the VYG.

She was delivered from the drugs, the illusions of this world, the depression and the desire to die. Filled with the Holy Spirit and a broad smile, she assures that she has never been so happy. “I can only thank my God for what He did in my life. I cannot describe how happy I am,” she celebrates.