Luiz’s Story

Luiz, student
Luiz Liberato, when he was a resident at the City of Youth in Campinas
Luiz, graduate
Luiz, today, a member of the Graduate Church

I lost my mom when I was very young. After living in shelters in Sao Paulo until I was 10 years old, I was transferred to the City of Youth in Campinas because of my older brother. He got involved with bad company in Sao Paulo, so we had to go far away so they wouldn’t be able to find him.

I did not have a hard time adapting to my new life at the City of Youth, mainly because I had my brother with me. But he decided to leave before he graduated and never came back. After that, I started to rebel against my social parents. I became stubborn, I fought with other kids, and I did not open up to others.

But after a while, I started to adapt again without my brother. Some things that really helped me to find happiness and I really loved at Hope was the annual camps in July with the presence of American friends that came from really far just to have fun with us and bring very cool toys and activities for us. I also loved the birthday parties when we had delicious Milkshakes and hamburgers at McDonalds. I loved to play soccer with the other kids almost every day and to ride horses they used to have at the City of Youth.

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.

My biggest dream is to have my own family, be a good husband and father, and teach my kids about God and how good he is. At the moment, I have a fiancé named Giselle. We are planning to get married in 2020 and have two children in the future. We met in 2015 at the annual graduate church retreat. We are now regular members of the graduate church.

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.