A Miraculous Journey

A man and his wife are sitting in chairs next to each other. They are holding hands and smiling.

Wilame and Erica, after much prayer and counsel, left the comfort of their home and profitable jobs as a banker and lawyer in order to pursue the Lord. They took a leap of faith, trusting God would provide, and moved from São Paulo, Brazil to Dallas, Texas.

“In 2014, we were on vacation in Orlando, Florida,” shared Wilame. “We were relaxing, visiting Disney and the beach. One Sunday morning we were driving to church, First Baptist Orlando, and my wife said to me, ‘I was thinking, we should do more for the Kingdom.’ This was exactly what I was thinking. We should be doing more for the Kingdom.”

Wilame began studying at DBU with the Master of Arts in Global Leadership program in 2015 and graduated December of 2017. As Wilame progressed through the MAGL program, he discovered Erica was pregnant with their second son. The doctors told them this would not be an easy pregnancy. There was a 99% chance their child would be special needs at best.

Erica was repeatedly asked if she would consider an abortion, but Erica trusted God and knew He had a plan. The day Erica went into labor, their doctor called in many specialists to be ready in case of an emergency. That same day, as Wilame prayed over his wife and the doctors, none of the specialists were needed. By the grace of God, Daniel was born without a single disorder.

Through the miraculous birth of their second son, Wilame and Erica wanted to reach other families and share their testimony of God. The question pressed on Wilame’s heart, “How do families navigate situations like ours if they don’t know God?” Wilame and Erica realized the calling God had placed on them. After the birth of Daniel, they knew they wanted to help families overcome similar circumstances.

Dr. Shelly Melia, the Director of the Master of Arts in Family Ministry in the Graduate School of Ministry, helped guide Wilame and Erica to a non-profit organization that seeks to evangelize people affected by disabilities and their families, Joni and Friends. Wilame began working with Joni and Friends as their legal consultant and connection to regions of Brazil. In 2018, they hired Wilame as their full-time International Program manager.

Wilame and Erica’s story can be characterized as trusting the Lord, regardless of the circumstances. They stepped out in faith, following God’s call to Dallas Baptist University to study in the MAGL program and left behind what was comfortable to do more for the Kingdom.

God strengthened their faith through the miraculous birth of their son and opened doors through the faculty of DBU to serve in ministry. We truly serve a God that strengthens our faith through trials and orchestrates plans for our future.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Written by The Graduate School of Ministry

The Graduate School of Ministry provides training for individuals who sense God's call to ministry. The mission of the Graduate School of Ministry integrates foundations of Christian faith and values with professional academic studies.