Reflecting on the last nine years here in Brazil, notable memories, the stuff of stories, tend to gravitate to peculiar individuals with massive personalities. I remember Ricardo, a volunteer at REAME, whose protuberant navel was about as prominent as his explosive personality, which shined in rare form when someone placed fake poop on the hood of his car. Then, there is Maico Mariano, the REAME charmer whose radiant smile could avert your eyes from your wallet, which he had just snatched from your pocket. I remember Taiza, a girl from Morro dos Macacos who was seemingly born with the brazenness and sass of a mother of nine, able to set the tone of an entire room with a single sigh. Finally, I think of Esquilo (Squirrel), whose personality is about as warm as my bedroom wall in the evening after a day of baking in the Brazilian sun.
Yet while my memories tend to be shaped by large personalities, my character tends to take its correction and cues from less effluent individuals. One such person is Wellington. I met Wellington several years ago when Jason was doing a Bible Study in the favela of Jacarezinho. In stark contrast to the individuals cited above, there was nothing striking about him. In truth, I only started to take note of him after a year or so of being in common circles, as I witnessed how God used him in the lives of many. I was intrigued to know his story.
Wellington's father walked out on his wife and three kids at some point in their marriage. As the oldest, Wellington assumed responsibility for the care of his home at fifteen years old when he got his first job. Given that his mom's work was unstable, he joined the military to acquire a consistent income. He also enrolled in college to study physiotherapy. Add to these responsibilities leading the youth group at the church and serving as the president of an organization that equips youth leaders, and you have a glimpse into the level of his responsibility.
So, I'm asking you to pray for three specific issues in Wellington's life right now. The first is for his fiancé who just had a rather invasive surgery this week. The second is for some key decisions that he has to make. He needs to decide immediately if he is going to continue on with the military for one more year (which compromises plans for his career) or leave the military and dedicate his efforts toward finishing this last year of college (which compromises immediate income needs). Finally, I'm praying for his ability to choose to prioritize margin in his life. I feel like margin will allow God to use Wellington to shape the character of others, as he has shaped mine.