22 Oct Day 14
Liberato: Promises Fulfilled
by: Jonatas Barboza
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20
I was six when my family moved to the Hope Campus, after my father Pastor Derli became campus Director. Growing up on campus, my little brother and I were surrounded by children who were much older, many of whom had been dangerous thugs in some of the world’s most dangerous slums. But the Hope campus allowed them to become children again. We never had a bad experience, and always felt loved and protected by our dozens of big brothers and big sisters.
Even though I was tiny, I used to love playing soccer with the older boys. There was a new boy named LIberato, 10 years old, who always looked out for me. Even though he was kind to me, he had a tough time adapting to the rules. He had never known his parents, and grew up spending time on the streets. He always had a temper and would get into fights with the other boys. It took a long time for the house parents to gain his trust.
Growing up at Hope, he learned how to play the drums. I remember seeing him playing with great enthusiasm at our church services when he was still small. Sometimes he made mistakes, but none of the other children really cared. They were impressed to see their friend on stage, and his leadership in chapel was a great example to the rest of the kids. Eventually, he gave his life to Christ and was baptized.
Not every child who came to us made decisions for the Lord, and some ran away. Growing up, I made friends with all of them. It was always painful to see them leave, especially because bad things happened to many of them.
But to this day, Liberato still plays drums at the Graduate church. Sometimes I get to play the bass next to him, and it feels like old times on the soccer field – except now I am 24, and he is 28, and nobody is trying to kick me.
Last April, one of Liberato’s dreams came true. He always wanted to get married and start a family. He met Gisele, the girl of his dreams, and finally proposed to her. They set a wedding date, but the ceremony had to be postponed due to the pandemic. They got married anyway with a very small group. But they still want to have a big wedding celebration when things go back to normal.
Like Liberato, many children who come to Hope were orphaned or abandoned. When you ask them, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” they usually express the dream of having their own family. That is why weddings are such a big deal.
Hope is a family they can always rely on. Even after they graduate, our extended family will always be there for them. When they marry, they will start a second family—and if their spouse has a family, they become part of three families. God is good!
Pray for God’s continued blessings on this new family. Pray also that every child will be able to see and embrace the promises that God has in store for them.