As a full-blooded Marxist, Peruvian, Rosario Rivera was convinced that justice in our society had to be fought with violence.
Driven by hatred and the slogan, “The end justifies the means,” she shed a lot of blood to achieve her goal, until a total change took place in her life.
Just as radically and with as much dedication as before, Rosario is now fighting for an another revolution.
I lived in this society with the revolutionary brains of Karl Marx, Engels and Lenin. I had devoured piles of books on the communist ideology. Anyone who has not studied it cannot understand communism.
Changing the world by force
As a result, Marx’s words not only stuck in my head, but also made me use them practically. My hatred grew more and more because of what I saw and what everyone can see every day: A world full of iniquity, exploitation and humiliation.
My father is a poor laborer and my mother a simple market woman. As a result, I identified with the oppressed masses, the needy and the worker. I also joined the militant communist party. We committed hundreds of crimes to get money for weapons.
We had planned to launch a strike in a textile factory.
Everything was well planned and agreed. The following rule applied: You are either a winner or dead – but never a loser. But it turned out differently.
In my bag I had a small radio, which happened to be on the Christian channel, “Radio El Pazifico” was tuned in. Classical music was broadcast. This was followed by an invitation to attend a series of lectures on youth, sex and drugs.” That theme interested me and I went there.
A new way of thinking
At this meeting someone spoke about life situations that are hell for humans. Rosario Rivera was suddenly confronted with herself.
She tells: This unknown man was there telling my entire life course. He told me everything I had done: stolen from people, murdered people, ruined young people, traded drugs, and much more.
Two powers fight in me!
The preacher invited the people to talk about their problems and I went there. I wanted to meet this man, and if I had my machine gun with me, I would have been happy to fire a salvo at him.
When I entered, I was approached by a 60-year-old woman who said to me, “Dear sister, it is a joy that you want to accept Jesus Christ.”
It was as if I was being stabbed with needles, and hatred flared up inside me. I took a step back and gave the woman such a kick that she flew right across the room.
God’s love touches me
My house was just a very primitive cabin, where I tried to hide from God. But one night He took pity on me. He showed me how dirty and filthy I was inside.
I didn’t see it that way myself. The word “sin” did not appear in my vocabulary at all!
War of thoughts
I will never forget December 4th.
That night I dreamed: I saw an open Bible and on the right-hand page were the words, “A man does not live on bread alone; he also lives by every word that God says!”
Then I saw the opened Bible again and read Jeremiah 17:5 and 7: “Cursed is he who trusts in men, who leans on a creature and turns away from God.” and “blessed is he who trusts in God and is safe with Him.”
The first word concerned me, the second was not.
In October, an engineer had given me a Bible on the day of St. Rosario. Of course I had not read that Bible. But now I went to find it, removed dust and dirt from it, and started to browse through it. After flipping through the book a few times, my eye fell on Matthew 4:4, “A man does not live by bread alone.”
That word worked!
I started to shake and the Bible fell to the floor.
I was dizzy and I fought fiercely not to pass out. I felt I was exhausted and I fell to my knees. Tears streamed down my cheeks and in these moments I saw my life ending like a movie (to my inner eye). I saw all the wrong things I had done and was deeply ashamed. I had agreed to all those filthy things. Now I didn’t know what to do with it and in my despair I cried out for the 3rd time: “What should I do?”
My question was honest, and in response the Lord shone a bright light in my dark life. When I woke up the next morning, a great joy had entered my life like I had never known. The hatred had disappeared. It had been replaced by such overwhelming love that I would have loved to embrace all the people who walked past my cabin with joy to tell them about this wonderful Jesus.