I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. When I was a child, I attended a lot of Catholic masses either with my mother or at the school, where some Bible verses were fixed in my mind. This included the words of the Lord Jesus Christ regarding the sin that is in the human heart (Matthew 5:28.), and the words spoken to the Lord Jesus Christ: “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only” (Matthew 8.8).
The summary of my life as a young man is this: envy, deceitfulness, lust, pride, and disobedience. I made trouble for anyone who hindered me. I even threatened my parents and brother. In my youth I became introverted and studious. From science I learned to neglect the idea of a God and to think of Christianity as an error of weak and simple people. From television I learned that pleasure was the real thing and that money was the way to it. I tried hard to pursue pleasure, but never achieved what I was looking for. I began to think happiness was a chimera.
When I graduated from school I went to work far from home, thinking that, at last, I was the king of my own life. There, my life became even worse. I did inconceivable things. I gave free rein to all the pleasures I could afford or try, and, several times, my life was in danger. Besides, people around hated me.
At this time I became interested in a Christian woman, in whom I saw a kind of purity I desired for my own life. Soon, she astonished me with these clear words: “You are in darkness.” I continued my life, but I was not enjoying it anymore. I realized that I would die if I continued the life I was leading.
I insisted on calling this Christian woman, but the only response was an invitation to a Gospel meeting. I accepted the invitation and heard the Gospel for the first time. I did not understand, though I thought I understood everything, because in my mind it was merely another religion in which Christ is included.
Again, I was invited to hear a ministry series about baptism. That was the first time I realized the Bible was not a book about religion. In those meetings I heard the doctrine of baptism from the Bible, and I noticed baptism was for adult believers, and that baptism has a deep meaning. I began to become interested in the Bible, and started to read it almost daily. The Bible impressed me. What words! For me it was a book full of wisdom. The Gospels, especially, caught my attention.
The Christians also impressed me deeply. I heard their prayers and saw their behavior, and I began to believe again that there was a God. But I doubted if the Gospel was the truth and wondered if Christ was not just a politician. Being encouraged by the Christian woman, I continued going to the meetings.
As I listened more intently to the Gospel preaching, I began to fear about my eternity and started looking for salvation. But I didn’t know what to do. I was unable to find the way of salvation. Day by day I was even more convinced of the possibility of an eternal hell for me.
On December 27, 1995, I took my Bible and read what the Lord Jesus said about the sinfulness of the human heart. I thought: “Christ is not lying. He could not be a hypocrite in saying this. He tells the truth. The Gospel is truth, and I’m going to hell.” I bowed my knee and confessed to God that I was a sinner. I asked Christ for the forgiveness of my sins. I asked for salvation. My conviction was this: I have asked Christ for salvation with all my heart, and because He is the best of men, He cannot lie. I realized His Word was true. I had been dead, but now, Christ had given me life. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).