Twice in his young life, Isaac has uprooted countries, leaving Brazil for Peru and then once again for South Africa, and the changes left him struggling to adapt
As a teenager, attending parties seemed to relieve his stress, but instead of going off the rails like other young immigrants, Isaac Pinto is now counselling youth, coaching soccer and has nearly completed college.
He says the peace to help others only comes from Jesus Christ, God the Son, knowing that He has an individual plan for him and has cleansed him of his guilt before God.
Upon learning that he was leaving Brasilia when he was eight, Isaac recalls angrily telling his parents, “I’m not your suitcase. You can’t take me wherever you want. God didn’t call me, God called you!”
His parents had decided to be missionaries in Peru, and although he had committed his life to Jesus Christ two years earlier, he admits he doubted that God had a plan for him there, until a miracle happened.
His parents had organised a Bible study group, so Isaac invited a friend named Alvaro and his dad.
“Alvaro’s dad was divorced and used to smoke three packets of cigarettes a day,” Isaac relates.
“God started working on their lives and then, on the same day of my baptism (to publicly declare my trust in Jesus Christ), Alvaro and his dad were baptized as well. It was one of the happiest days of my life!
“I felt God clearly speaking to me ‘I can also use you, you are not a suitcase.’”
While Alvaro and his dad went on to become mature Christians, Isaac admits that his relationship with Jesus grew cold during his teens.
Despite playing an instrument in church, Isaac stopped praying and reading the Bible. Instead, he recalls, “I liked going to parties, although I never drank or smoked.”
When his dad asked him to lead the music at church, Isaac realised he had to get real with God.
“I realised how far I was from God,” he says. His dad had always taught him that God will only hear us when our hearts are clean before him. This is only possible when we genuinely turn from our sin and ask for Jesus’ forgiveness.
“So I knew that I could not lead people in worship while living a mediocre Christian life.
“So I turned from my sin, began having a quiet time every day, and I became closer to God. To this day, I still maintain that daily discipline of praying and reading my Bible.”
In 2010, his parents’ mission work moved to South Africa, where Isaac hit his lowest mental point, but Jesus saved him once again.
“After three months learning English in Johannesburg, we moved to Welkom (Free State) and I almost went into depression,” Isaac frankly recalls.
“I couldn’t speak any English, so I couldn’t study or get a job.”
Instead of giving up, Isaac began to earnestly ask God for help.
“I prayed, ‘God, what is going to happen to my life?’ After a while and much worry, God intervened and changed the entire situation.”
Isaac says that firstly God led him to go to Bible College, and then gave him a job coaching soccer at his brother’s school.
“God also gave me a beautiful girlfriend that is my right hand in my ministry,” Isaac happily reports.
Now in the third year of his studies, Isaac is a youth worker at his local church.