About four years ago, the Lord led my husband Ivo and me to minister to a couple, Lourdes and Ignacio, and give them Bible classes. It was fairly early on in our relationship that Lourdes confided in us that she was very concerned about her 16 year old daughter, Debra.
We took steps to befriend them, especially Debra as she seemed troubled. As we kept praying for her and, at her mother's request, kept in close communication with her, Debra started to come out of her cocoon and is being transformed into a beautiful butterfly for the Lord's glory.
Here is Debra's account, in her own words:
I am 20 years old and a student at the Superior Technologic Institute of Zapopan. I am very happy; I have good communication with friends and family and above all with God. I try to act for the good of others. I have found peace in knowing Jesus and I find that solutions come quicker to my problems, especially when I act in love.
But it wasn't always so! Before I couldn't care less what happened to me or others under any circumstances.
I am telling my story so that others may be warned and so that loved ones never give up if they encounter their teenagers in such a state, but rather keep communicating with them, reaffirming their unconditional love.
There was a point where life didn't make any sense to me. "So what?" was my attitude. I was numb to everything. I listened to "black metal" or "death metal" music and the more I listened, the more depressed I became. I didn't have friends. I didn't speak to anybody. I didn't go anywhere. I just wanted to stay in my room, listening to that music. Even though most of the musical bands were from Germany and Finland and the songs were sung in English, my spirit would be attacked just the same. I was usually depressed and aggressive and I even started to cut myself (self-mutilation), not with the intention of killing myself, but as a release, an exit. I also tried drugs for some months.
Around this time Philippe (Ivo and Marie's son) and Suzy--young missionaries from the Family International--would come for regular visits and hang out with me; talking and trying to read some Bible with me. But to tell you the truth, I didn't pay much attention until the day we got to talk about the book of Revelation. From then on, I was more interested in God's Word, and my concept of God started changing. When most young people see a picture of Jesus, they mainly associate it with religion. Following Jesus is entirely different for me––you give God the glory, you love others–– it's that simple!
So many changes have occurred in my life in the last couple years. I'm more faithful to thank God and to ask Him to enlighten me. I desire to help people and share Jesus' love and message with others, and to tell them of Jesus' unconditional love for us.
I'm very thankful for God’s love and my family that never left me and for the Family International and friends who helped me through their faithful prayers. And I pray that I can keep on "doing all things through Christ which strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).