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Marcos Moreira lost his brother when he was only five years old and that tragedy brought him serious consequences. He found himself trapped in a downward drug-filled spiral but now tells us how he re-wrote his story.
“It was hard to come to terms with my brother’s passing. I didn’t just lose my brother, I lost my best friend. We were so close that as a child I’d wake up early just so I could spend time with him. I liked being around him so much that I’d sometimes cry asking him to take me with him.
I was devastated for years. I struggled to make sense of my feelings and what happened. This sent me down a dark path. I didn’t know how to fill the void that my brother’s absence left, so I was ready to try anything to numb the pain I felt inside.
At 14, I was already snorting cocaine. I saw some kids at school doing it and although I never felt like using drugs before, I decided to do it to be one of them.
But what started as a one off turned into a habit and as the time passed I also started using marijuana, drinking alcohol and taking ecstasy and poppers. I did all of this behind my mum’s back because I didn’t want to disappoint her. But that didn’t stop me from hanging out with the wrong crowd. I even started carrying a gun because I never felt safe. I was always surrounded by dangerous people.
I remember on one occasion, a man coming up to me at a party to tell me that he had tried to kill me three times but had failed. He called me lucky but looking back, I believe that it was God answering my mum’s prayers for my protection.
My mum always did her best to try and help me and when I was around her, I’d feel good for a while. I was now so different from the little boy she once knew. Everything I did was an attempt at filling the void I felt, even down to my tattoos. I felt so numb since my brother’s death that the sting of the needle made me feel something—I liked it. I could easily spend 5 hours at a tattoo parlour, but when my mum invited me to church I could not even spend one hour there. To make matters worse, my father had problems with cigarettes and alcohol.
In another attempt to fill in my void, I decided to move to England. My intention was to make some money here and return to Brazil with a better life and I had great expectations for that new experience. Shortly before I came, my father passed away due to problems related to his alcohol and smoking consumption. Although it was a very sad moment for me, I was so determined to come to the UK that I still went ahead with my plans.
But contrary to what I thought, when I got here things only got worse. As I had left everything behind in my home country, I placed huge pressure on myself to reach my financial goals quickly, as this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. When I arrived and saw that things were not happening as quickly as I wanted, I became very anxious. Consequently, I would smoke several cigarettes, a lot of marijuana and take pills to try and ease that anxiety.
I remember one day I was under the influence of drugs and when I looked in the mirror I saw my father’s face. It was as if the evil that was in his life had been transferred to me and now I was sinking into that same habit. That was the worst moment of my life. I started reflecting on everything and realised time was passing and I was stagnant. I had many dreams in my mind but no strength to go after them. Living my life in my own way was not working, but I knew what I had to do. I needed God’s direction. I called a friend from Brazil who attended the Universal Church and told him that I wanted to leave everything wrong behind and change my life.
He advised me to go to my nearest branch and ask for help. I went there on a Friday Deliverance Service and was advised and guided by people who were really willing to help me. I made sure to apply all the advice received and decided to replace the negative habits I had, such as using
drugs, smoking and drinking, with positive habits, such as meditating on the Word of God. It was not easy as I was not used to doing these things, but my faith empowered me to stick to my decision.
As a consequence of my perseverance, I developed a relationship with God and His presence filled all that emptiness I had within me. Today I no longer depend on any kind of drug to ‘feel at peace’ because I have real peace that comes from Him. I know that hardships will always come, but I’m no longer anxious because I know that, regardless of the circumstance, God is with me and I will overcome.”
If like Marcos you would like to change the story of your life, find your nearest branch and join us this Sunday at 10am which could be the start of a new beginning for you.