“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.
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.
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.
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.