Bishop, my name Elandio Arruda de Sales, I’m 49 years old and live in a small town in Amazonas. I’ve always been dedicated to keeping my moral values intact. I served in the military, got married, had children and strongly believed I would be successful in life. Because I was a hard-working and honest person, I thought this would be enough, but all my efforts weren’t enough to fill the large void that existed in me.
So I began looking for a way to fill this void. I visited a few churches, but it seemed like the void grew bigger every day.
One day, a prophetess from one of these churches, told me I would have to quit my military career to be happy. She said God told her that I was in the wrong place and the only way to be happy would be to abandon my military career. After I did this, God would show me what was best. Because I really wanted to be happy and believed she was used by God, I did as she said.
That’s when things started to get even more complicated. My wife and I were arguing a lot, my nerves were out of control and I didn’t understand what was going on with me. I was feeling very sad, completely disoriented, thinking about taking my own life… It was terrible. Yet, I faithfully continued going to church.
At the time, whenever I asked questions about my current situation, the prophetess said God was preparing me for a blessing. After a few months in this situation, I couldn’t take it anymore, because my house had become a living hell. This is when I fell away from the church and started drinking, being promiscuous and, during the search to fill the void in me, that endless sadness, I started to drink every day and constantly cheat on my wife…
This went on until I destroyed my marriage. I met another woman, who is now my wife; I left my wife and sank into addictions. This is when I tried cocaine. My life truly became hell. I no longer slept and spent countless nights snorting drugs. I didn’t have peace; it was pure hell. I was very nervous, constantly argued with my wife and wasted all our money because she began using drugs too.
Bishop, you have no idea of what we went through. After the “high” passed, I felt depressed, devastated. Me, the same man that had been looked up to by everyone in town for being in the military, began to be despised. People looked at me and didn’t seem to believe what I had become. I lost my respect and dignity; there was much humiliation. Sometimes, I was embarrassed to leave the house, but wasn’t strong enough to quit the addictions.
One morning, after a long night of consuming drugs, I turned on the TV and, for the first time, heard someone firmly say there was a cure for addiction. At that moment, I dropped everything I was doing and paid close attention to what you were saying. But inside, something said that you didn’t know anything about my situation and there was no way out for me. However, it was as though you were listening to my thoughts because you said: “If you think there’s no solution, just take a look at how many people have been healed!” Those words truly touched me.
I didn’t say anything to anyone, but the following day, though I continued using as usual, I watched the program again. I tuned in to your program for more than a month, listening to you say there is a cure for addiction. That’s when I said, “I’m going to that treatment”. Every day I would said, “I am going to go to that treatment”. Even with all the difficulties I was going through, I couldn’t stop thinking about those words.
One day, I was in the back yard when I heard a car drive by, announcing the treatment would be coming to my town. I got on my motorcycle and followed the car to listen better and find out where it would be. The car stopped on a street in my neighborhood and some people got out of the car to hand out invitations to the treatment. I took an invitation; it was as if God had come to the neighborhood to find me. Now, I had the address of the Church and knew the meeting was on Sunday at 3pm. I didn’t go that Sunday because some friends came around and we started snorting on Friday and only stopped on Monday, but I called my wife and said: “We’re going to this Church on Sunday because I want to do this treatment”.
Bishop, during that week, everything you can imagine could have gone wrong, did. It was extremely difficult to get there, but we made it. The pastor asked, “Who here has the urge right now to drink, smoke or use drugs?” He said he was going to show us what caused addictions. Some people were already by the Altar. I took my wife and we went up as well. The pastor asked me what was my addiction and determined that if I did not leave there healed, he would eat the Bible.
When the pastor put his hand on my head, I don’t remember anything else. When I returned to normal, I felt so light that it was even difficult to walk. Exactly what you said would happen, did: at that very moment I no longer had an urge to use any type of drug. He prayed over my wife and she felt well too. After the meeting, we got in line to speak to the pastor, who advised us to do the treatment. I did everything he said, always following his advice.
He said something that I’ve kept in my heart until today: we have to fight with all our strength to receive the Holy Spirit. It’s good to be free of addictions, but Jesus would only give us true happiness through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. He explained that the Fast of Daniel would begin the following Sunday and it was a great opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit.
That Sunday, my wife and I we were baptized in water and went home dripping wet. I said to my wife: “We are going to receive the Holy Spirit!” We did everything accordingly and today makes 3 1/2 months that I have been in treatment. And on Sunday, the 11th, when the pastor had the bishops pray for us to receive the Holy Spirit, I received Him. It was a wonderful experience; there are no words to express what it feels like to have the Holy Spirit in us. I wanted to embrace my wife so that she could feel what I was feeling.
The Bishop finished the prayer, and I kept crying, not of sorrow but with joy, knowing that God’s love for me was so great, and even though I had been such a bad person, He abided in me now. Bishop, people don’t have a clue how it feels to have the Holy Spirit in us. The only thing I want to do now is speak of God’s love to those who are suffering.
Bishop, thank you for your help because you know that we are treated like the worst kind of people in the world, abandoned by everything and everyone, even our family despises us, but you held out your hand to get us out of this hell we lived in. We are very happy!
Now, I’m calling all my friends telling them there is a way out of their situation, and I am proof of that! I want to tell you that I’m going to Sao Paulo one day to thank you personally, because today I’m sure there will be many victories in my future. I want to be an assistant, I have already spoken with the pastor about it.
Bishop Rogerio, may God continue giving you and Bishop Macedo the strength to help those who no one believes in, because there is a solution to their problems. So many nights, after using drugs, I thought about taking my life because I didn’t think there was a way out? And today, I am here, overcome with joy.
Thank you very much!
Elandio Arruda de Sales