Fabio; from lethal gang member on the streets of Brazil, to youth pastor on the streets of Spain.
Look at Fabio!
He’s one of many students at the Spain seminary enrolled in the first-year class in Madrid. Fabio shared in chapel for the first time. He had been pondering the lyrics of a Spanish Christian song:
“What would’ve become of me if you had not reached me?”
This thought-provoking song invites the listener to envision various frightening scenarios. But Fabio needed no such help. From early childhood, Fabio lived in very dangerous situations in the barrios of his native Brazil....
His story is sadly typical of poor neighborhood children without a father figure at home. Fabio’s father died when he was only 4 years old. The violence at the early stages of childhood made him feel that the only way to survive was by learning martial arts.
But by age 11, he determined that martial arts were “child’s play;” the only way to earn respect and protection was to use guns and bullets. And just carrying guns wasn’t enough either. Guns had to be used — frequently — to make believers of the other attackers.
Gang warfare is real, and kids are dying every day. Police and other authorities know what’s happening in these neighborhoods, but they only get involved if the violence threatens “good” neighborhoods.
Fabio says he is tormented by memories of firing into groups of opposing gang members. The odds of having shot and even killed one, or more, is a sad and hard reality for him to this day. He finds himself often confessing things he did for which he is very sorry.
And he is constantly grateful...because he knows that if he had not been reached with the Gospel, he would have met with an early death — and a Christless eternity.
The haunting song, by Adrian Romero, continues like this: “What would have become of me if you had not reached me? Where would I be today if you had not forgiven me? ...If it hadn’t been for your grace and for your love.”
Today Fabio and his wife and two children are living in Madrid. They came to Spain convinced that life in the barrios where he grew up was a constant menace to himself and to the whole family. For him, gaining a new life in Christ also meant going for a brand-new start on a new continent with a new purpose.
Fabio wants to be totally folded into the will of God... “totally lost” in God’s will, and in a whole new life for himself and for his family. He wants, as a new creature in Christ, for the old things to pass away and for all things to be made new!
Fabio made a decision to live the rest of his life for the Lord, and for the cause of the Gospel and he is doing just that.
We praise the Lord for the blessings of the lives of these young leaders, and His working in their hearts to bring about His will in their lives, and through their lives in the lives of thousands of others!