From drug dealing to the Altar

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I grew up seeing my dad come home drunk and arguing with everyone in the house, because of this, I would rather hang out in the streets instead of being at home. The whole situation made me very angry. Ever since I was a small child, I can remember my family constantly arguing.

Despite knowing the devastating effects of consuming alcohol, I had my first drink at the age of 12. As I grew up I became more rebellious. I felt happy while I was outside on the streets, but I would start wondering about how the situation at home might be. I knew that there would eventually be arguing. Though I witnessed firsthand the chaos that drinking caused my family, I decided to start drinking anyway.

Because I wanted a stronger high, I went from drinking to drugs. I started using marijuana, but when marijuana stopped providing the desired effect, I started using cocaine. From there, I dove into the world of crime.

The child, who used to watch his parents arguing, now became the reason for the arguments. And the hatred continued to grow. Things got to the point where I wanted to kill my own father! I aimed a gun at him, but wasn’t able to pull the trigger.

I moved up in the criminal world very quickly, as a teenager I oversaw the drug trafficking in my entire neighborhood. I had several weapons and my closet was where I hid my arsenal. This made me feel powerful! But when I lay down to sleep, the complexes surfaced. I felt like I was only respected because of the power I had, which made me frustrated for not being accepted like I would like to be.

A rival drug dealer attempted to kill me once, but his gun did not fire, and I managed to escape unharmed. There was another instance where five men approached my friend and I to put an end to our lives. Yet, they did not see us, even though we were practically facing each other. I saw the hand of God protecting me at that moment! My mother had already begun praying for me in Church, but I would not surrender.

My love life was also quite troubled, none of my relationships seemed to work out and this caused me much pain.

Years went by and nothing changed in my life. I saw many friends die; yet I didn’t change my behavior.

Until one day I decided to go to the Universal Church. I walked in high on drugs, and without any prospect for the future. I thought there were no solutions to my problems. Because I didn’t have a career, I found myself feeling bitter and ashamed. I didn’t see a way out of that lifestyle.

However, I was treated differently at the Universal Church. Everyone was really kind to me and showed me respect, as though they truly believed in my potential.

From that moment on, I started taking my first steps towards God. All of a sudden, the thought of using drugs turned my stomach and I fervently sought an encounter with God. Once I had this encounter, I began living a new life. I was completely delivered from the life of crime and drugs; I was delivered from the complexes and sorrows. I became a new man. Today my life is transformed, I am married and I’m a pastor of the UCKG. I help people who are in a similar situation as I was in the past, so they can also be delivered and get a chance at having a new life.

Rafael Moura

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