An interview with Cally Magalhães, author of 'A Love That Can't Be Contained'

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An interview with Cally Magalhães, author of 'A Love That Can't Be Contained'
Uncontainable Love

Your autobiography, Dancing with Thieves, was published two years ago and tells how God called you to work in youth prisons in Brazil. How have you seen God use your story so far?

I am so blessed and surprised by the way my first book has been received, in English and in Portuguese. People have sent me messages saying it was their number one favourite book last year and many have bought it as a present for friends and family. When I wrote it, I never imagined people would enjoy it so much. As a brand new writer I wasn’t very confident in my ability. However, many people have read it in a day or two, contacting me to tell me off as they just couldn’t put it down!

A young eight-year-old boy from the UK was so touched by the plight of the street-children I wrote about that he asked his mum to arrange a video call so he could ask me questions about what I had written.

I was also really blessed when the Portuguese version won the Arête Prize (the most recognised Christian Literature prize in Latin America), first place in the Autobiography/Biography category for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

For those who haven’t read the book yet, tell us a little about your charity and the impact it is having in the lives of young offenders in Brazil.


I run an organisation called The Eagle Project (Associação Águia) in São Paulo, helping youth prisoners, specifically boys aged 15-19, to leave crime and get places at university, find jobs etc. We use a method called ‘psychodrama’ where the boys go into role as their victims, the victims’ family members, their own relatives etc. and we are seeing amazing results. This project using psychodrama has been running for over ten years and we have been able to help hundreds of boys.

Last year, of the boys who took part in the psychodrama sessions, and who are being accompanied after their release, none have gone back to prison. 100% success – and these are boys who have been in the youth prison several times and have committed very serious crimes.

My book explains how this work began and tells the stories of some of the boys and of my work in the adult prisons too. It is going to be made into a feature length cinema film next year, focussing not only on my story of dancer-turned-missionary but also the very gripping stories of the boys and the work with psychodrama in the prison system.

In your new book, A Love That Can’t Be Contained, you found that simply loving those around you led to God working in extraordinary ways. Have you seen that in the UK as well as in Brazil?

I always say that you don’t have to go to the other side of the world and be a ‘missionary’ to share your love for God. One of the stories I tell in the book is about a ministry I set up with my church when I lived in Milton Keynes to bless the taxi drivers at the train station. They were so surprised that we turned up every Friday evening, rain or shine, giving them free coffee and tea, and it was a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus in a practical way. It also bore fruit in quite a tragic but wonderful way – but you will have to read the book to find out what happened!

Although we want to share Jesus with others, we can be held back by the fear of making mistakes. How can we ensure we get it right?

We can’t ensure we will get it right, and often we will mess up or be too scared to even try. However, the good news is that God loves to use our mistakes and blunders. I tell a wonderful story in the book about two missionaries in Bosnia that got it completely wrong and a whole family became Christians as a result, plus a few of their neighbours.

Even though I am an evangelist I feel fearful at times and shy, but I so long to share Jesus with people, so I trust God and His Holy Spirit to fill me and use me despite my weaknesses.

What is the take-home message of your book for the reader?

My take-home message is in the title – A Love That Can’t Be Contained. It is about pouring out that love wherever we go. The book is based on the story of Mary of Bethany who broke her vase of extremely expensive perfume and poured it all over Jesus. It was an extravagant act of sacrifice to show her love for Him. The reaction was, ‘What a waste!’ My hope for this book is that it will encourage my readers to ‘waste their lives’ on Jesus, to share Him with the people God places around them and be open to whatever opportunities arise. I really want people to grasp that life can be such an adventure if we trust in God and open our hearts to be channels of His love. We are His hands, His feet, His voice and His eyes, and it is such a privilege to be His co-workers here on this earth.

The stories can be personally applied through the reflective questions at the end of each chapter, also with a QR code to access a short video of me sharing about the content. The book is for anyone who wants to share the love of Jesus, at home or abroad, and I pray it will bless not only the readers but those on the receiving end of all the blessings.





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Products mentioned in or related to this blog post
Dancing With Thieves (Paperback)
Cally Magalhães
Retail price: £10.99
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Love That Can't be Contained, A (Paperback)
Cally Magalhães
Retail price: £11.99
Your price: £11.99