COLOMBIA — As a young woman in Colombia, Reina joined the guerrilla movement and was taught that religion was the opium of the people. She fully committed to serving as a guerrilla fighter, but after being hospitalized during a patrol, she cried out to God for help and underwent a transformation and became a Christian. She began to feel love for souls and appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made for all humanity on the cross. Now, she risks her life and faces persecution to serve the Lord in any way she can.
If I served the devil with so much love, how much more the one who gave me life. And if there I was brave enough to carry a weapon, here I must be brave enough to serve God.
In Colombia, armed groups consider religion to be the opium of the people.
This is what Reina was taught when she was recruited into the guerrilla movement as a young woman.
I went to the groups because of so much poverty and misery, not being able to study, not being able to realize my dreams, not being able to enjoy life, but my life was one of much misery, much poverty, much ruin.
First I belonged to the guerrillas and then I went to the paramilitaries. My function was patroller. I was fully equipped. I fulfilled the function of guerrilla, of fighting.
I got up at 4:45 in the morning. I brushed my teeth in formation at 5 in the morning, coffee and food at 7 if there was food and if not, I didn’t eat anything yet. And do all the work that had to be done, mobilizations, going out and it was a life of daily routine. Always moving from one place to another, there was never stability anywhere, where women are mistreated, discriminated against and abused in every way.
One day when she was on patrol, Reina passed out and was hospitalized. There in her state, she cried out to the Lord to get her out of that situation. That’s where her transformation began.
From the moment I received the Lord, I said, if I served the devil with so much love, how much more the one who gave me life. And if there I was brave enough to carry a weapon, here I must be brave enough to serve God. If there I didn’t find anything too big for me, how much less now that God is the one who has me in his hands. That it’s not me.
Looking at all this I have begun to feel love for souls. Not to look at the work of man, but to look at the work of Christ and value the price that God paid for me on the cross, which He paid for all humanity. And if they did this to Jesus Christ, suffered, died, was whipped for me, what have I done? I haven’t done anything.
And I said, Lord, I will serve you wherever You take me. And they asked me, are you willing to start a ministry? I started with my daughters and husband.
We began doing house cells and seeing the need that was there. Even though I knew there were many threats because someone told me: ‘Either you serve your God or work with us or we’ll kill you.’ But I told him that neither would I work with them nor let them kill me because I don’t die when Satan wants but only when God wants.”
And now thanks to Him (God), I am serving Him. Being wherever; still facing opposition – death threats and persecution in every way imaginable.
Leaving armed groups to follow Christ means challenging guerrillas in Colombia. For militants, each conversion means fewer subordinates and as a result less money & power. The threat comes in various forms such as surveillance inside churches – monitoring what people say or do.
Since there was change in my life due to becoming a Christian- little interaction has happened since then because generally one becomes an enemy after making such changes. But yes back then there were many Christians.
We used to work in a more organized way, but now there is more disorder. Nowadays we see nothing but groups formed and killing, murdering, raping, and stealing – although this has always happened, it seems like we see it more now.
The rates of thievery, murder and homicide have increased. It’s really terrible. There’s still a lot of persecution going on. I had to be constantly aware of everything around me so they wouldn’t take me out.
Many people reacted shocked; some were angry at me while others felt like they had lost a part of themselves after hearing what I said. Many told me ‘you’ve become my enemy – you’re no longer my friend. We’ll keep an eye on you; anything can happen to you- you will die.’
But I always say that the Christ who called upon me would defend me even today. And if I die, it’ll be for the cause of Christ.
So brothers and sisters please pray for Colombia – pray for us! Pray that God gives us wisdom so that we can continue rescuing those lost souls here because Colombia has become one of the countries where children as young as 10 come here (and even younger) starting at just thirteen years old!
From personal experience: when he was only ten years old someone took him away from his family – imagine how awful! Churches – please pray for Colombia! Pray for our souls!
Those who leave guerrilla forces to serve Jesus and ministry need a lot of strength again so they can resist the threats and pressure brought by illegal armed groups.
Source: Global News Alliance, From Guerrilla to Christian