22 Oct Day 12: Alex

“I have come that you might have life and have it to the fullest.”
John 10:10


You know that feeling when someone listens to you so intently you feel their stare will bore holes in you? Even as a teenager, that’s the way Alex was in church. His tattered and well-highlighted Bible first caught my attention. Then I observed how earnestly he wanted to learn everything he could about the Word.

His nature is not intense; it’s joyful, and he is extremely optimistic. He has a twinkle in his eye and a contagious smile. Of all the courses we offer, Alex chose to specialize in carpentry, saying, “If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!”

After graduating in Campinas, Philip learned he was looking for a specialized course in inlaid wood. It so happened that a master carpenter was teaching that very course at Hope Mountain in Vitória, 1200 miles away. Philip arranged a 6-month internship for Alex.
During his internship, Alex met Ana Paula, and they got married. He bought land on a hilltop with an uninterrupted view of Hope Mountain, and he built his home. Later, Alex started his own kitchen cabinet business called “My Dream,” so named because his dream had always been to own his own carpentry shop.
When Ana Paula became pregnant, everything seemed perfect. But then tragedy struck at nine months, and Ana Paula was rushed to critical care. She not only lost the baby, but spent nearly a week in a coma, her own life in the balance.
Alex, grief-stricken, prayed for his wife to live, while agonizing about how to tell her they lost their child. The joyful Alex now sobbed before the Lord, asking for his mercy. He confided his biggest fear: that upon hearing the news of their loss, Ana’s faith would be shaken to the core, and she would lose her faith in God.

Eventually she regained consciousness, and the doctor let Alex visit briefly, warning him to say nothing about losing the baby until she regained her strength. Alex took her hand, but before he could say anything, she said, “I already know. We need to leave it in the Lord’s hands.” Alex cries relating the story of his indescribable relief.
Two years later, Emanuel was born. He’s now my beautiful, roly-poly three-year-old “grandchild,” whom Alex dotes over. Alex’s home/workshop is near the Mountain, so we often drop by.
Recently, a local television station, doing a feature story on Hope Mountain, asked to interview one of our graduates. The translated interview can be found here.
My heart is full because of Alex, Ana and Emanuel. They are an example of many of our young families who have courageously started their own businesses. Imagine the stress of learning how to bid, train apprentices and pay bills.

Today, pray that all our young graduates will find success and joy in their personal and professional lives, and that they always have the courage to put God first in their lives.  Pray especially for those that have fledgling businesses. Pray that they will always have the courage to be honest in their businesses and for Christian mentors.