I was on the brink of death

“The voice said, “Here he comes, here he comes.”

I came from a good family. My parents gave me the best education. They did everything they could for me. They were never a bad influence. However, during my middle school years, I noticed “cool” guys, gang members, etc. drinking beer and having fun. I started to like that. I got involved with them and I liked it more. Then I reached high school and I met different kinds of people. I hung out with guys who had the same interests as I am. We would drink, cut classes, etc. I lost my respect for my parents, teachers, and others. My mother would tell me, “Saul come to church.” And I would refuse. I would always come home drunk on weekends and make a scandal. We would start clashing and getting into fights.

One Sunday, my mom said, “Come to church or you can forget about us.” So I came to keep my mom quiet. But it was on and off. It was like a game for me. I would go to church and the next day I would go back to the things I used to do. I got worse. I got involved more with the bad crowd. We would rob cars and vandalize them. Then I got arrested. I went to jail. I had handcuffs on my wrists and ankles.

At that time, I was proud of myself because for me, I thought it was part of being an adult. But deep inside, I was also thinking about my parents. Thoughts like, “What am I doing?” “Why am I here?” came to me. I ignored them because there was something stronger that says I have to keep going. My father used to say that I would end up going to jail, hospital, or six feet underground if I continue living in the same lifestyle. I didn’t care because that’s the life I wanted. From there I became more violent.

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One day I went to a nightclub and I got separated from my friend, so I grabbed a cab. I had no money so I called my dad to pay for the fare. I got into a confrontation with the driver on my way home. Then my dad came and gave him the money. The driver cursed at me and I couldn’t control myself because I wanted to get even but my dad stopped me. We were on our way to the entrance of our building and I saw the driver reversed the cab trying to run us over. With the aggressive behavior that I had, I ran towards the back of the cab and the guy did a U-turn. I was in the middle of the streets and I saw the headlights of the car speeding towards me. And that’s it. I remember my mom hugging me but I told her not to touch me because I was hurting. Then I passed out. In the hospital, I was swearing at the nurses and kicking them. There was so much anger inside of me.

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My pelvis was broken so they had to operate me. They told me everything was fine after the procedure but I kept on getting worse. They did CT scans, X-Rays, everything. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong. A specialist from Montreal came to Sunnybrook hospital to look after my condition. She said my intestines got a puncture from my broken pelvis. So there was a tiny hole in my intestines poisoning my blood. I was getting poisoned every second. I was dying. The doctors asked my mom to sign the paperwork because my chance of survival after the operation was only 10%. If she doesn’t sign, I would die. So she signed.

The Campaign of Israel came when this incident happened. While I was in the hospital, my mother and my wife participated in the campaign. Marleny (wife): “I gave everything that I had. I had to give up a car and the apartment even my salary advance.”

They prayed and I came out alive. From there, I fell into a coma. My spiritual battle started there. I was lying down on the hospital bed and my mom and my wife were beside me. Suddenly I started sinking. My surroundings changed. It turned into a black tunnel like a slide in a kids’ playground. I sunk so low. One thing that crossed my mind that instant was the words my mom said, “Whenever you’re in trouble, scream out Jesus’ name”. So I screamed like there’s no tomorrow. It’s all or nothing. And I said, “Lord please help me. I don’t want to die.” When I screamed the first time, I noticed I went back up. Then I took a deep breath of relief. But I came back down again. This time I screamed even louder. I came up and I was relieved. The third time I sunk the lowest. I saw black shadows around and heard a bunch of noise. However, a distinct voice overpowered all the others. The voice said, “Here he comes, here he comes.”  I went back and I felt a sense of relief.

But my battle didn’t stop there. I would often see myself alone in the hospital room. But there was an instance where I saw myself in a farm. There were two doors. There’s a voice that kept saying, “Open a door.” I told myself I’m not opening any door. The voice got angry and insisted me to open a door. But I didn’t so it stopped. These instances would happen frequently until I woke up. There was a skeleton staring at me on my window. All of a sudden, I saw a flash of light. When I opened my eyes, I realized that I was alive. I felt so much relief that I came out of that situation. I thanked the Lord for giving me another chance.

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When I woke up, they were still in the Campaign of Israel. My relatives would visit and give us money or offerings. I told my wife to give everything and add it to the sacrifice. We asked for strength to move on and to recover from this incident. I felt so good after. The nurses would tell me I had a good spirit. That’s when I started talking about Jesus. Since that Campaign, I didn’t see the scars in my body. It didn’t matter to me. I was just happy. They even asked me if I wanted a psychologist for the entire trauma that I went through. I told them all I need is Jesus. He’s the one who kept me going.

Today I’m totally different. I can’t be the same. But the fight doesn’t stop. The temptations come but it all comes down to your decision. It’s a fight that never ends so I won’t stop sacrificing. There’s no way. I can say that I’m happy and blessed. I have a beautiful family.

 

Saul Rodriguez

Toronto

 

 

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