(By: Lourdes Valdivia)

I'm from Bolivia, South America. This is my testimony of being trapped in the occult. At the point of wanting to end my life, Jesus came to my rescue, and now I want to tell others Jesus wants to rescue them too!

When I was a very young child around 7 years old, I started to read. Instead of reading children's stories like Cinderella or other classic fairy tales, I started looking and reading witchcraft magazines. They were on the shelves at home.

I attended a private Catholic school, and was taught to love Jesus, but for me He was just a figure -- not a real or tangible God in my life.

My parents were divorced and I lived with my mother. My mother was a member of several occultist groups and lodges for 35 years at that time, and our home was a lot different that others. There were strange signs on the doors and windows, and witchcraft materials.

I was a very lonely child. No other kids played with me because my mom forbade them to come to my house. I was too young at that age to understand why.

My mom used to take me to her meetings every afternoon until night time. I used to see people gathered, wearing robes and holding black candles and speaking with strange words -- calling helping entities and guiding spirits. I was the youngest in the group; I used to feel like a pet. After their ceremonies, everyone in the group was expected to drink some strange beverages, and of course my mom used to take some of those beverages and gave them to me at home as well.

We used to go to cemeteries to pick up bones for witchcraft purposes. There were special people in charge of giving us the bones.

Sometimes the group used to drive long distances to arrive to the top of the mountains to start the rituals at midnight.

When I was 8 years old I was attending meditation courses for children on Sunday mornings. Teachers were training a group of children.

Then when I was a little older, around 10 years old, I was old enough to stay home alone. I was very curious, and used to get witchcraft magazines and books from the shelf and try to do various experiments with them. I wanted to know if what was written on them was true or not, so I started doing my own experiments and tests with magic.

Nothing happened for the first few days, but after some time of experimenting, strange phenomenon began to happen around home: Things appearing and disappearing -- things broken, without anybody touching them. My mom started blaming and spanking me for braking and hiding her things. Then I started having out of the body experiences.

When I started telling this to my mother, she didn't believe me at first. As time passed by, she eventually came to believe I was telling the truth. Then she became proud of me and started teaching and sharing some of her knowledge -- teaching me how to obtain my wishes through witchcraft works. There was a new and exciting world just in front of me.

I started sharing some of my experiences about the occult with my classmates at school, and they all got very scared. The principal (a nun) came to my classroom to see me and gave me a warning. I almost got expelled from school. All the kids were afraid of talking to me and after that I felt more and more isolated. Because of loneliness I decided to keep my mouth shut and not mention a thing to anyone except my mother and my 'meditation teachers.'

At home I had all types of cards -- tarot cards, and others -- and my mom used to read them every night. I thought she was playing, so I used to ask her to teach me those games. She also taught me palm reading. To me it was like a game.

When I become a teenager, I traveled to the United States to study. It was my first experience with a 'normal family,' but as I promised myself not to say anything to anybody about my previous occult involvement, I kept everything a secret. It was then that I started hearing voices telling me to take my life.

At age 18 I went back to my native country and started living by myself in an apartment. These occult powers were even stronger. I knew I was a 'different kid,' but I didn't want to be a 'different kid.' Instead of controlling these forces for my benefit, they started controlling me. I started loosing my memory. I had difficulty answering simple questions, and had blackouts - terrible headaches - hearing voices night and day, and experiencing deep bouts of depression. 

I couldn't stand the torment. I didn't want to live anymore. I was not going to do anything spectacular to finish it. I simply decided to stop eating until I died.

I locked myself in my apartment and stopped eating for six days. I became very weak. Before dying, I decided to take a final walk around the city -- to say 'Goodbye' to the city, to the streets, to life.

I walked for awhile and then sat on a bench. I bought a newspaper. In the newspaper I read an advertisement that asked:  'Do you have problems and need a friend to talk to?' I was very surprised by this ad. I had never seen anything like that in a newspaper so I decided to go to the address given in the ad. I wasn't going for help because I was not going to change my decision, but simply have someone to listen to me.

I went to this place and it looked like a Catholic place because I saw the sign JESUS decorating a pulpit in the room. I thought it was a priest's house or a nun's house at first. Then I looked around and I saw a group of teenagers talking. Something 'different' about them caught my attention, and that something 'different' was like a 'spark of life' inside me. I had never seen such exuberance for life in young people!

I watched and listened to their every word for nearly 2 hours, spellbound. I wanted so much to have joy and peace and excitement for life like they had.

I was about to leave but then a pastor began talking to me. This man started talking about Jesus Christ. I found this was a Christian home. I listened to him. After that, he told me to give Jesus a chance to change my life.

I challenged 'this Jesus' right there to change my life, and the pastor said, 'He is willing to accept the challenge,' so I prayed with the pastor. I asked Jesus to change my miserable life.

Then I returned home. While I was in my room making my bed that afternoon, I started feeling a 'presence' filling the room. A presence of  PEACE and LOVE like I have never felt before. So I asked aloud, 'Is that You ' the God that pastor told me about?' After asking that, the presence became overwhelming to me.

I sat there for hours, enjoying this presence. I didn't want to go to sleep. I didn't want that presence to leave me, so I stayed awake all night until early in the morning, and then I finally fell asleep. When I woke up God's presence was STILL THERE!  He was right there with me, like protecting me! After that I started feeling so much hunger and thirst to get to know more about this God.

The next morning, I dressed quickly and went to look for that pastor. He talked to me for many hours in his office. Then he started teaching me about this Jesus - every day for three weeks. Then he invited me to join a church.

I watched this pastor closely. When he was praying in their meetings, I observed that there was power in his prayers. But this power -- it was not the power I had known for years. This was a stronger power -- it was a power combined with love. I was amazed.

Shortly after that I went visiting my mother and told her about my new life with JESUS. She got extremely angry with me. She then told me that I could not become a Christian, because, since I was little she had dedicated me to the lodge.

Then I yelled at her and told her:  'I didn't belong to any group! I belong to JESUS!" She became even more furious and told me terrible things were going to happen to me if I continued with that position. 

I said, 'I don't care, I am not alone. I am with Jesus!' I left her house immediately after that.

The Lord taught me many things the days and weeks following. He taught me that I should forgive my mother because she didn't know what she was doing, which I did. Forgiving her was also protection from God against evil spirits trying to harass me.  

(Editor's note: That's one of the greatest reasons why God wants us to forgive our enemies, and even pray for them. It helps keep spiritual doors closed, so satanic spirits cannot harass us as easily)

I used to buy presents for Mom and leave them at her door with notes expressing all my love to her. I would tell her in the notes that Jesus loved her too.

Sometimes I would ring the bell and run away. That helped a lot to heal my wounds and painful past memories. I did this very often for many years. I didn't want a close approach with her. I was not prepared.

"I had a stumbling - unstable Christian life"

I joined the church and had precious Christian fellowship for several years, but there was still a problem inside me. From time to time, I was having spiritual problems and battles, because these strong bondages of the past were not properly treated. My pastors helped me a lot, and supported me with tender love and prayers, but some type of problem was still there. I noticed that there was a kind of a battle inside me, like two opposite forces fighting for my soul. I had a stumbling - unstable Christian life.

I was not a child anymore and I wanted to be more mature in my thinking regarding spiritual matters. I wanted to understand what was going on with me. I also wondered if there was any former occult person in the world like I had been who could have escaped from the dark side successfully, and if so, how this could be accomplished.

I decided to look at the Internet. I didn't know where to look, and I ended up looking at the wrong websites. I looked at satanic web sites. I wanted to see if there were any Satanists trying to get away from occultism. Other questions came to mind: Were all Satanists happy or satisfied with Satanism? As I continued searching on the Net on satanically inspired websites, I didn't realize I was getting trapped again very slowly.

Going through those satanic websites made things worse. I started having doubts about the Bible and Jesus Christ. I started having problems again, and I came to a point that I felt like I was leaving Jesus behind. My love for Jesus was turning cold, and I felt this time I was taking a trip with no return ticket.

What I didn't know, JESUS was not willing to leave me however, praise Him!  

(Editor's note: Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us. We either leave Him because of our own choice, or Satan deceives us into believing Jesus has left us either by our believing his lies or by our feelings or both. A good article on the deceptiveness of "feeling like God has forsaken you" can be found by clicking on: 

In The Desert Of “Feeling” Forsaken By God? )

I was trying to find 'logical' information to somehow discover what was happening to me -- searching for information and understanding in the wrong places on the Net. It is like playing with fire, and nobody plays with fire without getting burned.

Things got much worse. My mind and will were getting trapped. This time these entities (evil spirits) were coming back -- not just for talking, but for acting with no mercy. I didn't know where I was most of the day; I was like drunk. When I walked the streets, it was like a dream. I didn't know where I was.

I was growing very sensitive to spiritual things. My body was getting paralyzed very often and getting electric shocks almost every night. Every minute seemed to be the last. I didn't want to kill myself this time, Satan was doing his best to do it for me!

I looked at Christian websites in South America, but there was no information about these matters. Then I decided to look further and finally I came across Jeff's and Liz Harshbarger's website: 

It was such a blessing when I got an e-mail from Jeff answering my questions. His words sounded very distant at first, but he kept giving me scriptures from the Bible. I kept those scriptures in my mind, and I had some hope at last! I finally found somebody in the world who had a complete understanding about what was happening to me.

Jeff's answers were accurate and straight to the point. The scriptures he gave me were like a guiding light at the end of the tunnel. His words sounded somewhere very distant at the beginning, but they became more clear and stronger as he didn't give up on me.

Jeff told me:  "Submit to Jesus. "Jesus paid a price for you, so the devil can not do whatever he pleases with you. Don't empower the enemy-- He is already defeated. You are property of Jesus Christ. He paid a price for you on the cross. And, you should only abide in Him... and be under His protection." These are some of the words he said and they got very deep in me, so I obeyed. I didn't feel like obeying at the beginning, but I did it, taking one step at a time. I know God was helping me, because without Him, I would never have been able to do it on my own.

I thought I was not going to make it through another day because I saw and heard some threatening things on my way back. Whenever I used to feel something was coming towards me, I used to say "It is not my fight Lord; it is yours. Because I am yours, you paid a price for me; the price was your blood." I rejected fear and the impulses to guide myself by senses or sight. Rather, I let faith guide me -- faith in the promises in God's Word. The scriptures Jeff showed me to stand on and have faith in - the Bible studies - the praises - they were working! They were coming alive, and they gave me courage to grab the Lord's hand and we both went through the dark tunnel. He said, "Only trust me and don't fear."

I had to learn to walk with the Lord, one day after another, trusting on Him; my life was depending on Him. It was like He was taking intensive care of me, and after firmly rejecting the satanic enemy for some time, I started having a "continuous peace" in mind and body. It was a team work. I didn't feel alone in the battle. Jesus carried me all the way though.

I felt so small before Him, His love was so great. I felt like a flea. I could experience His love and grace. I could not understand why He loved me that much! What patience!

Now I look back at my past, and I can see His almighty power mixed with tenderness and care for each one of us. That includes you.

God Began Working In My Mother ALSO!

Some time later I visited my mother, and told her all that had happened to me. She was surprised to hear me. Surprisingly, instead of being angry with me this time, she asked me for help, because now those forces she once felt proud of were coming against her also! Evidently the prayers going up for her were starting to have a powerful effect! I translated the material Jeff sent me, and my mom -  on her own freewill - decided to join a Christian church.

I went visiting her again and she was about to leave home to go to a 'Christian service.' I joined her, and on the way I could hardly believe what was happening. We were going to a Christian meeting together for the first time in our lives! I started crying -- tears of happiness and joy -- as I do every time I remember that day. We worshiped the only God who cared about us, and truly loves us, and didn't turn on us.

I was looking for answers and my dangerous research led me to these conclusions:

There are two masters: One is loving and caring, and does not oblige you to serve Him. He gives you free-will to love Him and serve Him, but you just serve Him because of gratitude. Because you love Him, He takes care of you. He shows his power combined with love and justice and no matter what the problem is, no matter how weak you feel, He is always there to lift you up and give you eternal life. His name is Jesus! He paid a price for you on the cross, because He loves you deeply.

The other master seduces you: Offering you knowledge and self- power. You lose your will, and before you know it, you become a slave and a prisoner of the one you think you serve. If you fall, he will leave you there on the floor and will step on you with pride and will kill you if you let him. His name is Satan and he has illusive power because he has been defeated 2000 years ago by the shed blood of God on the cross of Calvary.

This is my story and it is a true story, and the only reason I am able to write it is because of JESUS, who didn't give up on me. I also truly thank God for using Refuge Ministries and Jeff and Liz Harshbarger for their love and 24-hour help to pull me out of the dark side. I also graciously thank my pastors and church for their prayers and support.

I am a school and university teacher now, and I teach about this loving God we have, to anybody who may want Him and needs it.

Many blessings to you!

-- Lourdes Valdivia

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW!  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)