As you follow the path that the Holy Spirit leads you down, he takes you places you would not expect. Valdamir is one of these lives that the Holy Spirit has opened the door for us to share the Good News. He has his own bicycle repair shop at the center of the island that also makes small repairs to motor cycles as needed. The shop is small and not much to look at. (The picture features Pastor Jeu, Valdamir, Valdamir’s son in-law) I remember a number of conversations with him over the years as he repaired our bikes. He talked about going into the big city Belem to attend a church there, but his life seem to be very unstable. We did not know what a disaster his life actually was.
Pastor Jeu, who is part of our team, was having his motorcycle tire fixed by Valdamir and asked if he was interested in studying the Bible. He reluctantly said yes. At this point it was a depressing time in his life. His wife had separated from him and he was drinking heavily. His wife informed us that he would go on drinking binges for days and then get straight with religion. This would last for only a short time before the old habits returned. This resulted in a marriage that was on and off the rocks on a regular basis. Our team started studying the Bible with him once a week, and only him. Valdamir was a tag on Bible study on Tuesday nights. The team would study with one family up the road and on the way back stop a Vadamir’s bike shop to study with him. This went on for several months. If he was not there the team would book him for another night.
It did not seem like the team was making any headway with Valdamir. After all these weeks they had not seen his wife nor could find out her name. He just would not talk about her. Then a rain storm changed everything. As our team left the first Bible study and a heavy down pour started, so they became drenched. They showed up at Valdamir’s bike shop looking like drowned cats. He was not there so they went over to his house and knocked, his wife answered the door and took pity them and inviting them in. This was the first time they had met his wife and got to know a little about her. This chance meeting seem to have a big impact on the situation there, and now our team was praying for both of them. As things moved forward there were times that the Bible study included him and his wife with a few of their grand kids. Though the turmoil was not over. The team arrived one Tuesday only to be informed that she had not seen her husband for three days. She suspected he was off drunk, but encouraged them to return in a few days. This is where Valdamir’s life changed.
This is the point where Valdamir cried out to God and his desire to drink was broke. He also seem to have a stronger desire to know more about this God and His Word. Now the study time included a variety of his family members, though not on a consistent basis. His wife now attends our weekly womens gathering, and on Wednesdays we have a Spiritual Family gathering and it is common for Valdamir to bing his wife, grand kids and kids to meetings. He is proclaiming Christ has changing his life and he is excited about his transformation. The joy in his voice and smile on his face only adds to the validity of his testimony. Pray for Valdamir. Our next planed baptisms will be in February, pray that him and several of his family member will take that next step of faith and be baptized on the beach here on the island of Cotijuba.