Rosalie Hernandez | Testimony mother had passed away from cancer at the age of 39 leaving me feeling sad, lonely, and empty. That day, I had decided to ingest a bottle of pills and take my life. For an instance I thought, why at the age of 12, do I have no desire to live? I felt so lost. I saw a group of “hippies” preaching the gospel while I was walking one day and the sight of them caught my attention. These hippies had tattoos, beards, braids, and the girls wore long skirts, sandals, and hats. I saw a sign that said: The Catacumbas and Jesus Loves You. I learned that most of these young people were once drug-addicts and some of them homeless. They started to preach the gospel to me. That afternoon something happened and my life changed. I felt a presence of God and two arms embracing me; I placed my faith in Jesus and for first time I felt loved. I eventually joined them and we went to schools and hospitals to preach the Gospel of Jesus.

My sisters were saved before I was. When my father saw us dressing and acting differently, he became suspicious. Then, when he realized that we were attending another church other than the universal one the family had attended for ages, he opposed it completely. It was like a World War III. We started fasting, praying and reading the bible. We could only fellowship with the group in secret. If my father found out, we were reprimanded, spanked, and grounded. As part of the discipline, he and his wife ate at the table and when we went to the kitchen, no food was left. We went to sleep with our stomach empty. He totally opposed us meeting these “Protestant People” as he would say.

One night, my father changed the entrance gate locks so that none of us would be able to get back in the house. When we came home from church around 9:30pm, we realized that the gates were locked and were unable to get in the house. I was so scared and we did not know what to do! Maggie, my oldest sister, went to Rebecca’s house to find help. She was a friend who lived close to our home. Rebecca immediately called her pastor and he came to pick up us. I knew that this time my father would beat us badly. I was crying quietly and praying that God would help us to do His will.

After a month, we returned home after the Pastor, our uncle, and our father met. The situation at home was worse. The nights were so long and lonely; we went to bed afraid. One night at 3 am, my father entered our bedroom, yelling and demanding that we clean the house. Another early morning, around 5 am, he entered our bedroom with a belt and began spanking us. The lights came on and he yelled at us; we woke up screaming and crying. I felt like I was in a concentration camp and I would lose my mind.  When I felt emotionally and physically drained, I would go into the bathroom, open the shower, and put a towel tightly over my mouth to cry and cry until exhausted. We continued going to church against our father’s will.

While attending the university, I decided to enroll in the Seminary to study Theology simultaneously. I met one of the seminarians, Carlos, and fell in love. A few years later, we married. I remember that after the wedding, my husband had left for work, I spent hours crying of happiness and praying thanking God for the freedom I finally had. I was able to talk, dance, jump, sleep, and praise the Lord without any fear.

In 2007, my family and I moved to Wake Forest and joined Richland Creek Community Church. I started to help in the sound booth ministry, taping the plays, and joined the prayer group. In 2015, my husband and I joined the Richland Creek Riders’ Biker Ministry under the leadership of Joe Tomberlin. Every day, I feel a fire inside me to serve the Lord and do His will.

“Mas Dios muestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros”.   Romanos 5:8