(2nd part and end)
I was 20. I was no longer a macumbeiro. I was never in school. I was illiterate. I couldn’t even write my name. I lived only in magic. I had not progressed like any other children. I had lived in the center, practicing magic. It was bad but that’s all I was taught. I was in this prison where 2,000 prisoners wanted me dead.
Thursday was visiting day at the prison. Everyone had visitors except me. When I had been dispensed from magic, the spirits and guides were also gone.
And there, free with my own thoughts, I began to understand the life of the human being. I wondered why I was different from everyone else?
Everyone has a father and a mother. I don’t have any. I don’t remember them.
I was asking myself the question, “How was I born? Where am I from?” I didn’t remember anything from my childhood! I started to really suffer.
On Thursdays, visitors came. They threw things in my face. They hit me. Prisoners threatened me and warned me that I would die if I answer back.
I was humiliated. I accepted any suffering. I watched the prisoners changing to receive visitors. And I didn’t have any.
I started to lose weight a lot. I was turning yellow. One of the boys who was in my cell said to me, “I find you strange. You are too yellow. I think you are sick.”
“I am not sick. Diseases cannot reach me. My body is “closed.””
“if your body was “closed,” then, believe me, it is “opened.” You are too skinny and yellow.”
Another prisoner said, “He must have AIDS.”
He called the guard, “Send this young man to do exams. If he has AIDS, he will infect us.”
After 15 days, the doctor sent the results to the warden. When he arrived, he asked me to take my things because I was going to change cells.
“Where am I going?”
“in a medical unit.”
“You have cancer and you are going to die.”
I had lost everything. And I was also losing my life. When I arrived in this unit, I saw 3 bodies being transported for burial. These people had no families and they were buried on the very grounds of the prison.
I started to lose weight very quickly. I no longer had an appetite, no more strength to walk. I was touching my head and my hair was falling out.
I once heard a Christian preaching in prison.
I asked myself, “Does the God of Christians really exist? If He exists, why did He do this to me?”
I didn’t even have friends. The people who came to see me, came for consultations and for the work that I was doing. But I didn’t have any friends. And everyone abandoned me in prison.
I was alone. At 6 p.m. I received a visit. He was a guard who hated me. He took out my IV and punched me in the stomach every day at 6 p.m. Every time I saw him I would close my eyes and shake.
I started to wonder. I wondered why I had come to this. All the other prisoners who had committed serious crimes still had family, not me.
One day a woman arrived. It was a visitation day. I found that this woman looked like me. She had the same facial features as me. I looked at her wondering if this woman was part of my family.
The woman was going from bed to bed looking for someone. I was happy. I said to myself that maybe she was coming for me. At one point she looked towards me. I was filled with joy. I had great hope in me. She approached. She spoke but to her son who was in the next bed. She carried her son in her arms. She kissed him. He was in a pitiful state. She had words from mom to him. Words of love.
These words made me desire to hear the same things. I started to cry. I had such a great desire to have a mother. She had such kind, sweet words. I listened to what she was saying to her son and it brought me so much joy.
As the visits ended, I told myself that I was going to touch her hand and that she would certainly have kind words for me too. Cancer patients have no strength. The bones look soft. It takes a lot of effort to move the fingers. I made a lot of effort to raise my hand. When she passed, I threw my hand towards hers.
She thought I was very young. Her son quickly told her, “It’s Recife’s macumbeiro!”
While I took her hand to hear a mother’s words, she clapped my hand, “You macumbeiro! My son is innocent here. But you must die and descend to the depths of hell!”
It was an old lady who had spoken such kind words to her son but uttered curses at me. I cried and understood that everyone hated me. I wanted to die.
When the guard came again to beat me, I looked at him and asked him to kill me once and for all.
“I’d rather kill you slowly. You must know what punishment is.”
“Finish me off, please.”
“You will still suffer a lot. You will eat the bread that the devil has kneaded (Brazilian expression meaning that “you are going to suffer a lot”).”
He kept hitting me every day. I looked at the prisoners and envied their families. I was a 20 year old. Condemned by society. Condemned to hell.
There was, however, someone who had not forgotten me. When my mother lost me, she said to my older sister, “We are going to do a prayer campaign so that your brother comes back.”
After 18 years, my sister said to my mother, “If my brother were alive, he would already be back here. At his age, he would know how to come home. My brother is surely already dead. I will not pray for him anymore. I hope you understand. I also ask you to forget. He is dead. People have already forgotten him. You must also forget.”
My mother told me that she cried. Then she kissed my sister and said to her, “My daughter, God will give you a lot of health. He will also give you time to see your brother and embrace him and know that when God makes a promise, He is faithful in His words.”
No one could steal her faith or her hope. My sister criticized her. But every time she had the opportunity in the church she always said, “One day you will see my son here, preaching the Word of God!”
For my part, I was dying. I had no more hair. My skin was peeling. The wounds on my body would not heal. I would die.
An elderly guard one day came to see me and he said, “You are too young to suffer like this. I will help you.”
I opened up to this man, believing he would help me. I told him I had a lot of pain in my right arm, left arm, and legs. My whole body was hurting.
“I will help you. You will not feel any pain anymore.”
He left. After 3 days this man came back. He said to me, “I found the remedy to help you.”
He started talking to the prison warden, “Warden, this young man has no parents. He is in pain. He can’t even go to the bathroom. Let us give him the injection of mercy.”
It was the injection that ended the life of cancer patients. This man who was my hope entered with this rope that ties the man earmarked for death so that he does not struggle and resist. As soon as I saw him, I started to cry and shake. I had already seen them kill several people in this unit.
When he approached me, I said, “You said you were going to help me. You are not going to help me. You are going to kill me. Please don’t do this to me. Let me live. I’ll change. I’ll be a good man.”
He didn’t pay heed to my pleas.
He started to tie me up. I looked at him. I looked in his eyes. I said to him, “I’m 20 years old. Let me live.”
“There are no more solutions for you.”
He injected me with the poison which started to turn my blood into water. I felt such pain. At that moment I saw the Exu Caveira. And he said to me, “I will take your soul with me. You will know me. You will see how I am in reality.”
At that moment, I knew that I would die. I clenched my fists and I said, “I’m not going to die. I don’t want to die.”
The guard saw that I was not dying quickly. He injected me with another dose. I asked him again not to do this. He injected me with the poison. My blood liquefied. My body paralyzed. All of a sudden I saw myself standing.
My body was lying in bed. My soul was out of my body. At that moment, I heard a noise behind me. Someone was moaning. When I turned around I saw a hole that attracted me like a magnet.
I understood that I was dead and that my soul was going to hell. At that moment, this hole absorbed my soul, pulling me towards it. I can tell you that the soul of man remembers everything he has done.
When my soul got caught in this hole, I fell into despair. And I thought to myself that I wanted a chance. An opportunity. But it was too late. It was all over.
While I was still snatched up, I looked around. It was so dark. Appalling darkness. There was no one there! Nothing! I understood that it was not hell yet but that I was going there.
I was filled with despair. I wished for a little chance. A little opportunity to be someone different. At that moment, I heard a voice. It was very loud. This voice growled, “God, O God, I do not know where my son is. But go to him, my God. Bring my son back to me. Wherever he is, bring him back in my arms.”
Immediately I recognized this voice. My memory woke up and I remembered my mother. She had not forgotten me. She had not abandoned me. She prayed without ceasing for me without even knowing what was becoming of me. She was clamoring for my life.
My mother cried out to the God of victory. To the God of glory. At that moment my mother cried out again, “God! Bring me back my son!”
Luk 18:1 … men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
As my soul was heading to hell, a Man appeared. And when He appeared, the place became bright. He was dressed in shining white clothes. And I asked, “Who are You?
He looked at me and His lips did not move but His voice came out, “I speak in the name of the God of your mother, who is the origin of life. I order you now, spirit, to enter your body.”
My soul came back to my body. It was 7 a.m. I thought I had a bad dream. But when I opened my eyes I was in a bag. A body bag in which the deceased was kept before burial.
When the guard came to take the bags, he first checked them and when he opened mine, I opened my eyes and he shouted, “The young man is alive.”
The one who injected me with the poison said, “No. He can’t be alive. I gave him 2 doses!”
“He’s alive. I’m telling you, he’s moving!”
So the guard approached me. He touched me and saw that I was alive. He shook his head and asked me what had happened.
“The God of my mother sent me back to life!”
My brothers, you have a God who is the God of the impossible. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up. Nothing is lost. Your God is alive to give you victory.
The guard said, “Let him go. He will die in a few days anyway.”
I said to myself, “God of my mother, send me someone here. I want to become a Christian.”
On Thursday, a man who comes to evangelize said, “Does anyone here want to accept Jesus?”
I raised my hand and he said, “Young man, do you want to accept Jesus?”
“Yes. I want it!”
I raised my hands and he put his hands on my head and while he was praying, God baptized me right then with the Holy Spirit. I was cured of my cancer. I got up. I spent 4 years and 6 months in prison.
Then I was released and the pastor of the prison said, “Where are you going to go since you have no family? Would you like to come to my place?”
“Yes. I want to.”
“I have a small room where I keep some tools. I’m going to clean it and you will live there until you find a job. Or you find your family.”
I told him everything about my life. I told him that I have a mother but I don’t remember her name. I just know that she exists. We went to this man’s house. When it was Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I was very sad. The pastor would kiss me and tell me that he was my father. He was indeed like a father and his wife like a mother to me. But they were not my real parents. I wanted to see my real parents. The pastor taught me to pray.
And he said to me, “I will take you to a mountain to pray. In the mountain, you will speak with God.”
I went to the mountain. But out of curiosity because people said that there the leaves caught fire during prayers. I got there and saw several Christians praying. Some were jumping and screaming for joy. I thought they were all crazy.
I started to find it all weird and bizarre. There was a lot of fire and the Christians were screaming and dancing. Watching them, I finally found it very interesting.
What caught my attention the most was a skinny young man who was on a stone and he would not let go while praying over it.
It was midnight when we got there and this young man left at 5 a.m. When he got up, I went to see him. I asked him why he had not left this stone. He told me that since the first time he prayed over it, God granted him everything he asked for, a marriage, a job, a wife, etc.
I asked him if I could also pray over it. He told me of course. I came back on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. I prayed over it and I said to God, “Let me see my mother. Let me kiss her. Let me feel my mom. God, I want to see my mom, please!”
I was only asking for this. It was a deep desire in my heart.
One day on this mountain while I was still praying, God used a boy to speak to me. He said to me, “My son, I am going to give you a surprise which will satisfy your heart and your soul!”
I did not know what was this surprise announced by this child. The pastor I was living with had a car. He sold this car in order to take his whole family to Recife. And I didn’t know anyone’s name. We haven’t met anyone. When we were about to return, we ran into Pastor Isaac Martins. Pastor Isaac asked us to stay a bit longer because there was a coming event for the sisters.
“It is the anniversary of an Assembly of God prayer circle. The sisters in Christ from all over the region will be present. Come with this young man. Maybe someone will recognize him and a miracle will happen. Does he know how to preach?”
“No. He does not even know how to read (indeed I could neither read nor write at the time there). He is just going to give his testimony orally. It is a very edifying testimony.”
“Bring him. We’ll make him participate in the congress.”
The pastor came to see me and asked me to prepare myself because on Saturday I would have to preach and give my testimony in a big congress in Recife. I began to pray and fast and unfortunately during that time I had a fight with the pastor’s son.

The pastor’s son was jealous of his father’s treatment of me. We had a quarrel and it ended in a fight. We rolled around on the ground and at the end of the fight he told me, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

In the Northeast, when someone is angry he crosses two fingers and asks the other to cut. If we cut then we do not speak anymore. He crossed his fingers and I cut. So we were “cold”.
Except I remembered he would be the one reading the Bible when I give my testimony. I was dependent on him.
Saturday morning the pastor came to see me and asked me to prepare myself because Recife was 200km away. I was in pain because I was cold with the person who was to read my Bible verses. I had to read Psalm 23.
So I tried to talk to him. I walked past him, saluting. He didn’t answer. I started again. He didn’t answer. I remembered that he liked the “sacolé” very much. They are homemade water ice creams in different plastic packaging.
I ran to buy 5 “sacolés” including 2 coconut flavor that he liked the most. When I got home, I walked past him and offered him ice cream. He took it and when he finished it, I gave him another one and so on and then he said, “You … You want something!”
“I wanted to ask your forgiveness. You are the only brother I know.”
We cried together. He kissed me and we forgave each other.
I asked him to read me the Bible and there he said, “Ahhh, that’s why actually!”
“Yes, a bit!”
He took the Bible and asked me what was the theme I wanted. I told him it’s Psalms 23:1. He told me it was a very easy verse.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I will not want anything.”
“Yes but when I am in front of the people I might get nervous and forget.”
The pastor came back to ask me to be ready and we left. On the road, I repeated this verse over and over again during the 200km ride. When we arrived, there were lots of people! The prayer circle was huge. This multitude of sisters were all dressed in blue.
I approached the pulpit. I was intimidated by the people who had big Bibles in their hands because I thought they were all people who preached and could read. I was afraid to approach them. I was afraid that they would find out that I could not read. My legs were shaking. I repeated the verse in a whisper for about thirty minutes.
Then a woman began to look at me. She stared at me for a long time. I told myself that this woman was looking at me too much. That she must have noticed that I had been whispering for a while. I put my hand over my mouth while reciting the famous verse.
The woman was still looking at me. I got up to go to the bathroom and this woman was still watching me. And there I said to myself, “If this woman was younger, I would have thought she was flirting with me but this was a little weird.”
On my return, the woman was still looking at me. And there I started to be afraid because in Recife people who carry sin in them cannot afford to preach.
Among the members of the prayer circle, there were prophetesses and they knew when someone had something to hide. So they made him come down from the pulpit and confess his sin.
There, I said to myself that God had not yet forgiven me because the woman must have seen the sin in me. That God had revealed it to this sister in Christ and I was very afraid. This sister was looking at me and I avoided her gaze asking God for mercy.
“God, please have mercy on me. Spare me this shame please.”
In my turn to take the microphone, I finally quoted the verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
When I said that, the woman got up and exploded saying words in tongues!
There I said to myself, “God has just told her everything. I’m screwed.”
I started to stutter and the woman got up. She was the only one dressed in white and walked over to me.
I said to myself, “Jesus, have mercy!”
I was dying of fear. I asked God not to reveal anything to her because I was very afraid. I thought to myself that God was going to curse me through this woman. I was ashamed for myself and I was ashamed for the pastor who had taken me there.
This woman was a few inches from me and said, “Young man, I would like to ask you a question. I cannot let you finish your testimony. You must answer me now!”
The church was silent. Everything was stopped. No flies were flying. This woman was a prophetess of God. The church knew a prophecy could come out of her. So everyone stopped to hear the prophecy.
“Young man, do you have a hairy pimple on your back?”
“Yes, there is.”
“On your left foot, do you have a birthmark?”
“Yes. How do you know that?”
“Young … Man … Do you have … A mother …?” (crying)
“No, I don’t have a mother!”
“Do you know why I know these things?”
“You are the one I lost … You are my son … Yesterday morning, God told me, “My daughter, your suffering is over! Tomorrow I will bring your son to you,” and God brought you here. My son!”
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again:
I found this weird. Because my mother was white and I asked her, “But why are you white?”
“You are dark like your father. When I saw you go to drink water I saw that your approach was identical to that of your father. You speak exactly like your father. You are my son and Jesus brought you back!”
My brother, God will give you back all that you have lost. The devil cannot keep what is yours indefinitely. God is there and He is faithful!
I kissed my mom and then she took the microphone.
She said to the church, “Church, he’s my son. The one I’ve always said will come back!”
Psa 35:18  I will praise You in the great assembly. I will praise You there among the crowds.
My mother was old. But she was strong and healthy.
She said to me, “Let’s go home. It’s been over 20 years since your father spoke to me because of you.”
When we arrived, she knocked on the door. My father asked who it was.
She said, “It’s me.”
My father still had hatred towards my mother and they no longer spoke to each other.
He asked, “What do you want? It is very late to have visitors (it was 10:30 pm). It’s not visiting time. We don’t come to people’s homes at this time. Ask this person to come back tomorrow.”
My mother started to cry and said, “This visit is very important. Open the door!”
My father was worried because my mother was crying. And she never cried. He opened the door. When he opened the door, I looked at him and saw my older self. My dad looked at me and told me he felt like he saw his younger self.
He started to cry and looked at my mother, “Is that him?”
“Yes, it’s him.”

My father ran to kiss me.

Luke 15:24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

And he said, “My son, my life was over. I lost the joy of living. And your mother always told me that one day you were going to come back. And you came back!”
My father cried so much. He recognized that God exists and that He is faithful. He went to the pastor and told him he wanted to become a Christian again.
Gen 46:29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. 30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.
My mom called my older sister. She ran home thinking something had happened to my dad.
“Daughter, do you see that young man over there. He’s your brother.”
Psalm 118:23 The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
We cried and we kissed. She asked me for forgiveness because she had stopped praying for me, thinking that I was dead.
God is God. Believe in His promises because He is faithful, true, and just.

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