Danilo paced the floor in anger. What right does Mom have to send me away? he asked himself. She hasn’t been here for me for years.
Danilo’s parents had divorced when he was 5. He and his brother lived with his father, who drank heavily. By the time Danilo was12, he was drinking, too. Then friends offered him cocaine, and soon he was hooked. He started selling cocaine to pay for his own drugs. When his mother found out, she gave him an ultimatum: Go into rehab or go to a boarding school. Fearful for her son, she took Danilo to live far from his friends.
Danilo stopped using drugs for a while, but when he went to live with his dad he started using drugs again. Danilo needed money for drugs, and a friend suggested that they rob a pizza parlor. But the manager recognized his friend and called the police. The boys were arrested.
While Danilo waited for his father to bail him out, he had time to think about what he had done. He remembered that when he was little his parents had taken him to church and had taught him to pray. For the first time in years Danilo prayed. “God, if You take me out of this situation, I’ll change my life.”
The judge sentenced Danilo to probation. Danilo wanted to change his life, so his father asked a cousin to help enroll Danilo in an Adventist boarding school near the capital city of Brazil. Danilo didn’t have money to study at the school, but his cousin helped him get a part-time job to help pay his tuition. There he started reading the Bible and felt God drawing him to Himself.
Danilo enjoyed his studies and made the best of his second chance. He gave his life to Jesus and is thrilled to know that God is changing his life one day at a time. “I feel free now, freer than I’ve ever felt. There’s no high like the high I get from praising God,” he says.
The school sponsors several outreach activities, and Danilo enjoys sharing his new faith with others, especially his parents and brother. He prays that one day the family will be united in Christ, who is changing him completely.
Our mission offerings help establish and strengthen Adventist schools where young people’s lives can change forever. Part of a recent Thirteenth Sabbath Offering is helping to build a church on the campus of Central Brazil Adventist Academy, where Danilo studies and is preparing to become a leader for God. Thank you.
Danilo Barros is a student at Central Brazil Adventist High School.