My wife Blanca and I were in our clinic attending to patients on April 18th, 2018 when the news began presenting a demonstration by the elderly protesting their right to their social security. A few hours after the protest began the government in Nicaragua began sending police to injure the elderly protesters. College students seeing this injustice joined the protest in support. The next day police began shooting the protesters. The students then decided to close the universities and only protest from then on. The wounded continued to increase and by noon there were already more than fifty people who were injured by firearms, by order of the government. The police had also murdered a 15-year-old boy with one shot. The hospitals closed their doors to the injured protesters and they were left outside dying.
This was when my wife and I decided to help. We filled our vehicle with the equipment from our clinic to care for the injured. We arrived where they were leading the wounded and started caring for the people, some had mortal wounds, but others could still be saved. We were in our vehicle moving the injured to their homes when we were intercepted by a group of paramilitaries. They kidnapped us on the public highway, took us to a torture prison and left us naked and without food.
I prayed and told the Lord that I would endure anything, but asked him to please release my wife. On the sixth day of the kidnappings, they took us to receive judgment where we were accused of being terrorists. That same day God heard my prayer and my wife was released. The moment I realized that she was released I knelt and I said to God, “Thank You, Father, for listening to my prayer.” Then I cried like a child with joy for the miracle that the Lord had done. I was transferred to another prison, along with other people who were with me at a state jail.
When we arrived at the prison, we were placed with 200 more people who had also supported the protest. By then my health was very weakened since a few months before, I suffered from a heart attack. I needed medicine, but they would not give it to me. One day my heart was feeling very bad and I felt I would die that same day. I raised a prayer like I never had before and these were my words, “Lord this heart is yours. You created it and you know how it works. I give it to you to heal it, I know you can.” Two weeks after my prayer, my heart began to work better. This is another miracle of the many that the Lord has given us.
In January of this year, they entered the cell throwing tear gas trying to hit us. We wanted to close the doors to prevent them from entering, but they threw more gasses in and the smoke did not allow us to breathe. When I approached the door to stop them from entering, a bomb exploded a meter away and filled my lungs with gas. I couldn’t breathe and put a towel around my nose and mouth, but the gas was already burning my eyes and lungs. We were dying from suffocation. Many people were shouting for help and some of the elderly who were with us fainted because they could not breathe. I wanted to help them but I felt I was dying. I managed to walk to where the wounded were, but I couldn’t take anymore. I no longer had strength in my body and I fell to the ground and said what I thought would be my last prayer on earth.
In my prayer, the only thing I could say was, “Heavenly Father, help me to breathe!” At that time when many shouted and gunshots were heard, I could hear a very soft voice, like that of a man who was next to me. It told me, “Breath slowly.” It was the voice of my Heavenly Father who was with me. I started to breathe very slowly and the air began to enter my body again and I could breathe better. I could get up and help the wounded, but at that moment the police had already entered the cell and began to hit our bodies until they knocked us unconscious from the blows.
After the tear gas attack, they took all our food and threw all our things into a place where they tortured us almost daily. They gave us poisoned food that caused intestinal bleeding. We were only permitted to see our relatives once a month. One visit my wife brought me a copy of The Book of Mormon. Reading the Book of Mormon was my greatest Consuelo y Fortaleza [Comfort and Fortress]. I read it three times in prison and every time I read it, my spirit became stronger.
In March of this year, we could not stand so many things. The pain and the anguish were great and we decided to start a hunger strike. On the second day of the strike, they took our water and no longer brought us food. The elderly who were not on strike could no longer feed themselves. We managed to resist the hunger strike for four days then our weak bodies couldn’t stand it anymore and we started drinking dirty water because it was the only thing that we had. On day ten without drinking water, we started to despair and dug holes in the ground looking for water pipes to get the accumulated water in the pipe. Thanks to the Lord we found the pipe and we were able to get water for two days. When the water was gone we made more holes in the ground looking for more water. This time we found the gas pipe. When we discovered this we told the police that if they didn’t put the water back on we would exploit the gas pipe. When they realized that it was true, they quickly replaced the water minister again. We had passed many days without bathing. When the water came back and we could drink and bathe again, my body felt new and with new energy, sometimes we don’t realize that the simplest things are the ones that have the most value.
On May 16th, 2019, by superior orders, the police entered the prison to kill us, firing their AK 47s, impacting one of my friends, Eddy Praslin, a 70-year-old American citizen. When the bullets kept passing near us, he started helping the wounded, but the bullet hit his main artery and I couldn’t control the bleeding. He died on the scene. When the police did manage to enter, they tortured us by hitting us with everything they had in their hands, some prisoners were raped, and others were cut with knives.
We were then placed on the ground to be shot and executed. I closed my eyes and said “Thank you, Father, for this life you have given me. Take care of my family.” When I opened my eyes I looked at the tip of all the AK 47 rifles pointing at us. At that same moment, representatives of the Red Cross International ran into the place and prevented them from killing us. The police left and we began to take care of the wounded. There were 120 that had welts all over their bodies.
On May 20, 2019, four days after the torture, a group of us were released. As we were leaving the jail, the police said: “Be careful because we will kill you in the street.” That same day with my beloved wife, we fled our country. We left our home and our family after losing everything we had. My wife had had to sell our possessions to be able to survive. We left with a backpack on our backs and three changes of clothes, hoping for a better life. Our church helped us in our new country in many ways. We have felt the love of Christ in our lives and have truly been in the hands of the lord.
My testimony is this that I know with all my heart that Christ lives. He saved us and He took us alive from that place. He saved us from bullets and he takes care of us even today. Don’t stop trusting God. He will never let you down. GOD WILL NEVER FAIL YOU AND HE WILL NEVER COME LATE WHEN WE NEED HIM. I love Christ with everything in my heart and I am a living testimony of His power. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. Don’t stop reading it. If it helped me, I know it can help you also. Today I join the words of Job of yesteryear, “I know that my Redeemer Liveth… And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” [JOB 19: 25-26] It is my greatest desire to return to live with our Heavenly Father and be able to say, “Thank you, because you were with me when I need you most.” This testimony comes with all the forces of my heart. Value what you have and fight for things spiritual; the things of God the Father that are the only things we can take with us from this life. Love your relatives, love your parents, and love your wives. Because I was PROTECTED BY CHRIST, today we are alive and can share our testimony with you.