Graduate Stories

Golberi
Golbery, Hope graduate, with the Smith family

“I never dreamed Uncle Philip’s daughter and my own daughter would be best friends,” Golbery says stoically, ignoring the tears streaming down his face. Who would have? But that’s what happens. Children grow up to be peers, and eventually the roles reverse and they become the caretakers.

Philip met Golbery was about 8. He was sleeping on the sidewalk on a piece of cardboard, not far from the entrance of Philip’s first apartment in Brazil. Philip had only been in Brazil for a matter of weeks and did not speak Portuguese yet, but he befriended Golbery and would buy him snacks.

One day, Philip invited Golbery to come through the front doors of a fancy restaurant for a real meal. It was an incident which marked him forever. Below, Golbery recounts this incident, along with a few details of his incredible life. His narration involves murder, love, humor and intrigue, all without the special effects of Hollywood!

Luiz, graduate
Luiz Liberato, today, a member of the Graduate Church

Hope represents my foundation, my roots, my education and it reflects who I am today. The best gift I received was Jesus, and Hope was the place where I accepted Him. I was able to participate in small groups and church services.

Now, I am a salesman, and I am also going to college. My major is Information Technology (IT), which was my specialization when I was at Hope after I had the opportunity to attend the computer science course at no cost.

The graduate church is my family. It is a beautiful extension of the City of Youth for me. That is the place where I serve Jesus being part of the worship team. I play the drum or the bass guitar every Sunday service. It was through worship that God transformed my life. I started learning how to play the drum at the City of Youth and consequently my I began to behave better because I started to develop a good relationship with others in the worship team and also with Jesus.

Read more of Luiz’s story here.

Jose Nilton, graduate

Jose Nilton was one of our first graduates. He is one of 15 employees (who are Hope graduates) working at a local Renault dealership as an auto body repair specialist. He shares what life was like after his father was murdered. “I was five when I took to the streets,” he explains. He talks of starting out as a “vapor,” an expression for little kids used by drug traffickers as look outs for police, who then “evaporate” into thin air. His voice cracks as he points toward heaven and says, “If it weren’t first for God, and secondly for Hope Mountain, I would be dead.”