What is your faith background? We both grew up as Roman Catholics.
What is your professional background and experience? GUILHERME: I work for a local privately held company in their financial business. I started with them in Brazil, and have worked for them for 23 years. The company moved me here to Minnesota in 1996. ELIANA: I run a non-profit foundation whose mission is to use the culinary arts to benefit our community and to improve the quality of life of those in it. We primarily cook for food shelters, and prepare and deliver food to food shelves.
What is something that you love about St. Philip the Deacon? GUILHERME: There are so many things. I love the generosity of the church and the members of the church; I enjoy the services and messages; and I appreciate how the pastors address difficult and contemporary topics with an open mind. I like the sense of inclusiveness in the leadership of the church. ELIANA: I like the messages of the weekly services, and how they help me be a better person, and how I can apply them to my daily life.
Have you ever been surprised by God? If so, how? We have been surprised by God in so many ways, and so many times, that it is hard to enumerate them. From the joy of our children’s birth, to the way we overcame hardships, and to how God continues to surprise us even in the small details of our daily lives. One does not need to look hard to see the presence of God in our personal relationships, in the crossways of life, and in the way He presents opportunities for us to engage in His mission.
If you could meet God face-to-face, what would you want to ask? I think at different times of our lives we have had different questions. Right now we would probably ask: “Are we doing the right thing? Is the way we are handling our lives correct?” We would also ask about some of the great unanswered questions of life, like the problem of pain and suffering, particularly with children. Why?