MAI Location: Chicago
Job Responsibility: Interim Director of Chicago Eagles
I was born on November 17, 1981, in Goiania, Brazil. I grew up in a Christian home with my mom and dad (Cleuza and Josias) and my older sister (Tanitha) and older brother (Alessandro). I was baptized when I was 14 years old at Igreja de Cristo do Novo Horizonte. I was an English teacher for 7 years until the Lord called me to full time ministry. I just finished a masters program (Intercultural Studies and Urban Ministries) at Moody Bible Institute and now I am full time with MAI.
How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
Since I was a little kid, I was very involved in church activities (retreats, worship group, evangelism). When I was 19, I was approached by a very good friend of mine Rodrigo Jordão (who actually was a missionary for Go to the Nations in Belfast for 4 years). Together with other friends, we started a ministry called "The Open Room" (a youth group who would sing and study the Bible in English - remember this is in Brazil!), which led me to serve in England, precisely in Bookham, Surrey.
I was the assistant youth leader (and anything else the church needed!) for a year. It was one of the best years of my life. Not only I got to know (and live with) amazing Godly people, I grew a lot, as a person, and as a leader and in my relationship with God. It was hard to leave Bookham Baptist Church and some really good friends!
Three mission trips to the Amazon and 1 to Africa later, I decided to go full time ministry. It was when I met the Chicago Eagles. I thought what they did (soccer as strategy to preach the gospel) was awesome. I then came to Chicago, USA, where I serve until this day. Now I am a full time staff with Missionary Athletes International/Chicago Eagles.