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A Testimony from Venezuela

Spanish Version

I was born in Venezuela 35 years ago, into an evangelical Christian family. I have 6 brothers and sisters. At the age of 14 years, I was curious and wanted to explore and experience what this world had to offer.

In view of the fact that my church was very religious, prohibiting everything, and saying that everything was sin, my curiosity was very traumatic for me and I left home without my parents’ consent. I moved to another city.

I met many people and I fell into the horrible world of drugs. Young people like me were living in the streets, I fell into prostitution, robbery, and all that was evil. I suffered much, much physical and sexual abuse, but nevertheless, I never had the desire to return home.

I slept in the street, begged for money, and I hid my pain with drugs and alcohol.

I became tired of this lifestyle. One day, I met an evangelical Christian family and they invited me to live with them. I accepted. Well, the love that this family provided was very a very beautiful thing. I began to study and went to the university where I received the title of university nurse.

It wasn’t all easy. Even though I wasn’t living in the streets anymore I still continued in the world of drugs. It was difficult for me because my Christian family had gone the way of the world.

My mother suffered from two cerebral hemorrhages and was left in a vegetative state.

I remember that I prayed to God, promising that if my mother would be healed and have a chance to repent I would serve Him forever.

But in reality this was not to happen. My mother was healed bit by bit, but I soon forgot this miracle and the promise that I had made to God.

I continued in the life of drugs because it was difficult for me to leave it. At that time, I got a good job in one of the best clinics in the country. I earned good money and I had many friends. But inside of me I knew there was a horrible emptiness. Those were days of loneliness and weeping.

I became extremely depressed and I attempted suicide several times. I had not experienced the love of my family, and in part I felt that I had betrayed my new family who had given me a new start in life. I took a bottle of rat poison and was found in critical condition. I remained in the hospital for several days and nobody could figure out why I was still alive. I then cut my veins. Several times I tried to strangle myself.

On a daily basis I took overdoses of drugs and alcohol. At age 25, I was given the ELISA test for HIV in the clinic where I worked. This is done on a regular basis there in violation of the human rights of the individual without anything being done to protect our rights.

In those days I didn’t pay much attention to AIDS. I thought that only homosexuals and women who were sex workers could get infected. How wrong I was!

Everything in my life changed when they told me that I was HIV positive two days later. By then everyone in the clinic knew and the criticism followed instantly. I was the talk of the office. I felt that my life had ended. “Oh, God!” That was a painful time. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone.

But, I dove deeper into drugs, alcohol and prostitution. I had always said, “Well, if I get infected I will just pay them back the same way.” What an immature, thoughtless person I was toward others, and I was so irreverent toward God. Now I know that God has forgiven me.

I suffered a cerebral hemorrhage which was a complication of toxoplasmosis. I became a hemiplegic. Sadly, I was alone and abandoned in a room with no one to help me.

I only had God for companionship. But today I understand the Bible verse that says that God has a plan for each one of us, a plan that He developed even before we were born. And today I understand God’s plan for my life.

At that time some Christians visited because they were concerned about me. Even though it is difficult to understand, there are still churches that reject people who live with HIV. Thanks to these Christians, I recommitted myself to the Lord at the same time that my siblings in another city were preparing my funeral services because they thought I was beyond help by the medical professionals. My siblings came to get me and took me to my parents’ home to die.

Once I was home, some Christians began to pray and fast for me. Little by little my critical condition was improving.

At that time I didn’t take HIV medications as the government didn’t give them to us, and if any medications were given it was rare. I lived by the mercy of God. Many people died from AIDS.

The worst thing of all was the rejection. I was fired from my job and after that could no longer work as a nurse. It was frustrating, but there was always something inside of me that said that if God provided for me one time he can do it again and again.

I again became gravely ill with kidney failure and severe pain. For several days I couldn’t eat or sleep. I was exhausted and giving up, but I asked God that if he gave me a deep sleep that night and if I woke up improved, I would serve Him with all my heart.

Before I even finished my prayer, I feel into a deep sleep and I woke up as if nothing was wrong with me. That night I dreamed that I was on a mountain and the Lord told me to follow Him.

Since that day I serve the Lord until He comes again. I am the youth leader at my church. I am also a musician and a defender of the human rights of people who are living with HIV/AIDS. I visit the terminally ill and many have gone to be with the Lord. I know that God did not want anyone to die without knowing Him.

Now I understand Psalm 118:17, “I will not die but live so that I may proclaim the wonders of the Lord.”

The Lord has been with me all the time. He is my shield and my rock.

I wish to thank the He Intends Victory ministry for this beautiful work and my sister in the Lord, Juanita Yorba-Gray who has been a strong pillar. Her testimony has been read by and has helped many. God bless you.

I only hope that this testimony will help many people to know that God is great. Without Him we are nothing. Only in Him will we have life and life in abundance. He will deliver us from all our afflictions.

God loves you.

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