We don’t choose to come into the world, but we have the power to choose where we’ll spend eternity.

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Good morning, bishop!

Extroverted, cheerful, energetic and full of life. These are some of the characteristics I had as a teenager. I grew up in a home filled with harmony, happiness, structure and I was surrounded by people that gave me a lot of love and attention. Little did I know that all of this would fall apart.

At the age of 16, as I left the supermarket on my bike, I was hit by a motorcycle and rushed to Getúlio Vargas State Hospital, located in the Penha neighborhood, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Due to the impact caused by the accident, I was hospitalized with loss of cephalic mass, cranial trauma and a 5% chance of living. I was hospitalized for 15 months; 2 of those months I was in deep coma and 7 months in vegetative coma, only moving my eyes.

According to doctors, I would be quadriplegic for life, and that’s if I survived. However, the sequelae would be unavoidable. Not walking, not running, not being that happy youth I once was. I was doomed to spend the rest of my life in a bed.

Even among so many words of doubt and fear, my parents never gave up fighting for me, and my rehabilitation. Through an act of faith in the Living and True God, I recovered – much to the shock of all the hospital medical staff.

Today I am part of the Universal Youth Group, where I met people who were willing to help me, not only physically but, most importantly, spiritually. This was crucial in my recovery.

Today, besides being 100% healed, I am an even happier youth. I know the One who truly fulfills me: God. And I discovered that it’s worth living. What seemed to be impossible, today has become a miracle.

Jonathan Oliveira, 19 years old

Bishop Macedo
Bishop Macedo

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