Man sold multi-million dollar business to serve a mission, helps 20,000 refugees

One of the most successful businessmen in Brazil, Carlos “Wizard” Martins, decided to sell his multi-million dollar corporate empire for him to serve the Lord faithfully.

He owns more than 3,000 English institutes throughout the country called Wizard. For years the couple dedicate themselves to the work of God and philanthropy.

Since then, he has received great blessings, not only in his investments but also in his spiritual life.

Carlos Martines graduated from BYU, and throughout his career, the Lord has put on his way people of like-minded ideas, people with similar purpose, direction, and values.

Likewise, he has found answers in the scriptures through inspiration from the spirit.

“I believe that the Holy Spirit influenced many of my daily decisions. Somehow that we don’t fully understand, the Lord directs our way,” he said.

Call to Serve

When Carlos and Vania’s son, Nicholas Martins, was preparing to serve on a full-time mission, they were both worried that Nicholas would have problems serving in his mission due to developmental issues.

Vaniathen suggested that she and her husband participate in a service mission and take Nicholas with them.

The couple was in the perfect timing since the Brazil Area was looking for a couple who could work with Venezuelan refugees in Bon Vista. The two accepted the call.

Vania will never forget the heartbreaking scenes she saw when they arrived in Boa Vista in July 2018.

The refugee camps were crowded, and thousands of people slept on the streets, hungry, sick, and desperate for help.

There were elderly people, pregnant mothers, and young families with babies who needed diapers and clothes. He felt unfortunate.

“When we arrived, I saw so many problems that I thought I couldn’t do the work. I began to pray: ‘Heavenly Father, give me a little of your love for these people. Put a little of that love in my heart so I can do this work,’” Vania Martins recalled.

His prayers were answered, and love came.

“I began to see them as God sees them. I began to have compassion, the compassion that Christ showed. With this feeling, it was easy to help them solve their problems in the best possible way,” he said.

At first, Carlos Martins was also intimidated by the responsibility he had and offered a similar plea to the Lord for help:

“I got a powerful feeling that said to me: ‘Don’t worry, calm Carlos. This work is not yours. This is my work.”

With Vania’s compassion and Carlos’s network, the Martins helped relocate about 20,000 refugees to other parts of Brazil to find work and have a more sustainable future.

Recently, Carlos and Vania Martins were awarded at the 2022 Freedom Awards Gala in Provo, Utah, for their service on the border between Brazil and Venezuela.

“What we do for missionary work in the Church brings great joy. It’s a different kind of joy that we can’t find in other things,” Vania said.

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