Wagner Bertolino
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Wagner Bertolino

Band Christian Gospel

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Bio

AUTO-BIOGRAPHY

I was only 5 or thereabouts, but it still feels like it was yesterday. Good times - oftentimes, I woke before dawn, stirred by a ray of moonlight shining through a crack in the kitchen door. I was always curious to know what was going on around the house. I would creep out of bed and stagger and yawn sleepily across the cold kitchen floor and head for that gap.
As I pulled the door ajar, I saw a bright beam of light bouncing off that enormous moon, which seemed to encounter that sillouete kneeling by the water well. I could swear I heard low voices just like friends do when they are swapping an intimate and fascinating story.
After a while, I would drag myself back to bed, thinking, "oh - it's just mom praying again ..."

I grew up listening to my dad telling wonderful stories from the Bible. He told them so well ?he helped us to see the connections and linked the life-giving messages between the many texts he expounded on. He started in Genesis and stopped at Revelation.

I had eight older siblings; one is a pastor today, in Mato Grosso, in the interior of Brazil. He was always into studying the Word. We spent a lot of time together because he was the closest to my age. When we were small, he used me as his congregation and preached to me all day long.
It was a privilege to grow up watching my older brothers and sisters. They were all interested in teaching, counselling and pastoring in general. All the games, we played at Christmas and New Year, ended up in Bible knowledge competitions. Of course, I always lost.

I guess they were the hooks that pulled me back to God's arms. You see, I went through a terrible period doing worldly things. That was the worst time, just after my mother passed away. I was only eleven at the time. But a child who learns the ways of God, like in my favorite verse, Proverbs 22:6, will often bear good fruit much later in life. It didn't matter how deep down I went in the pit, there was always something deeper inside of me that seemed to speak to me in those low, soft, and loving tones, saying, "You don't belong here."
I first heard God's voice when I was twelve. He told me he had great plans for my life and that He would prepare me for it.
Even though I spent a good part of my adolescence in darkness, he brought me back with His powerful hands.

By His eternal grace; God gave me a second chance. He gave me a chance in many different ministries. When I was just ten, He helped me form a group with kids my age called New Life.
Much later, after returning radically to the Gospel, I led a ministry for teens together with our church pastors. Those were great times, when we dared to simultaneously tackle huge projects like Alma&Gesto around the outskirts of the city where I lived and worked.

Besides the huge weight of responsibility of heading up a praise ministry at church since I was so young, - I still am! - I was also deeply involved in counselling, Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance Ministry for almost three years. Those years helped form and mold new standards in personal relationships. As I walked with great leaders in these spiritual areas, I learned, in practice, what it means to see sin at work in people's lives if not treated by the sovereign love that comes from the Cross.
I must not forget to mention the mission, Vencedores Por Cristo (Winners in Christ), which guided my ministerial growth. We traveled all over Brazil as I worked with teams in prayer, teaching, singing, recording, ministering the Word, blessing people, and being blessed by God through them.
I really believe that much of the polishing of my being is due to the marvelous people I associated with. My brothers and sisters who were so patient with me when I erred; they respected me, and prayerfully watched me come back to the Word. There are also my dearest and closest friends just as close as family. We shared such strong bonds of friendship that I believe we lived a preview of heaven without realizing it. We were very young and hungered to see the face of the Most High. We were so anxious to see His Kingdom established on Earth. We went to great pains to flee from sin and all its attractions, still we also had great fun!
I passed through the hands of three pastors who restrained me with divine care. They always brought me back into the flock and never hurt me. It was an enormous privilege to walk side by side with them.
I was encouraged by one of them to live out an ardent desire and participate in crosscultural missions. I went to Great Britain in 1997 to learn English in a school of a mission called Operation Mobilization. They are now present in 86 countries around the world! That's where I learned the language after a lot of hard study and practice.
At the end of my time in the mission I had the privilege to be chosen to work with its founder, George Verwer, at their headquarters in London. That was an unforget