At 5 years old, Rene Level Martinez ran away scared, but his mom and the Santeria practitioner grabbed him, took him to the bathroom, where they slit the veins of a goat and poured its blood on his head.
The ritual was supposed to ward off evil and protect Level, but from that moment on, Level says he was possessed.
“I would see demons and hear these screams (of people) in agonizing pain, like screams from Hell,” Level recalls on his Soldier of Jesus Christ YouTube channel. “I would have horrible nightmares. I would see demons walking around the house. Pretty much my whole life, I was possessed by a giant demon.”
Today, Level is an extraordinary soul-winner, a convert from the fearsome Latin Syndicate gang that terrorized Miami during the 80s and 90s.
His descent into some of the most heinous crimes of violence began when his mother, Emiliana, an immigrant from Cuba, separated from his dad because the abusive womanizer went to see his ex-wife when Emiliana was giving birth to Level.
It was the days of the Cocaine Cowboys in Miami, and Emiliana was addicted to the white powder and was almost never home. Once he even found her overdosed in bed and called the ambulance.
“Rene had two parents that were so dysfunctional that he turned to the streets,” Emiliana admits.
As young as nine, Level broke into cars and houses and collected guns.
At 14, he was committing grand theft auto when the police began to pursue.
“We got into a high-speed chase,” Level says. “We were doing over a 100. We weren’t even thinking about it, we were flying through red lights.”
Jackson Memorial Hospital called to inform Emiliana that her son had been involved in a terrible accident and was in a coma with a 5% chance of survival. The man they hit died.
For the first time, Emiliana prayed to God instead of resorting to the witchcraft of Santeria.
“Take away everything I have, but give me my son’s life back,” she said, bargaining with the Almighty.
He woke up three weeks later from a coma in the hospital. He was placed in a full body cast and later had to undergo rehab to walk again.
“You thought I would’ve learned my lesson,” Level admits. “But no, I didn’t learn my lesson. As soon as I started walking again, I got right back into the streets, breaking in cars, stealing, breaking into houses.”
After not paying rent for a year and a half, Emiliana lost her home and moved into the back of a video store with her son. She fell into a deep depression and couldn’t even get out of bed.
“I would have to go rob to eat,” says Level, 15 at the time. “There was no food. There was no money.”
With a 9 mm, he assaulted men, forcing them to the ground. Sometimes, Level found food in dumpsters. One night he fought with his own homie and tried to kill him with a Glock. He didn’t come home for days at a time.
One night, his mother overdosed on pills and slashed her wrists in an attempted suicide. Level came home, found her, and rescued her. It happened a second time; again Level saved her life.
In her suicide note. Emiliana asked forgiveness from Level for her imperfections as a mother and she expressed a desire to be reconciled with her sister Myra, whom she hadn’t seen for five years.
At that time, Myra, was visiting at a friend’s house and heard about Jesus for the first time. Suddenly, the Lord placed on her heart the need to pray for Emiliana and she saw a vision of her being rescued by Jesus.
Myra visited Emiliana and shared the gospel with her. Remarkably, she received the Lord with great joy and stopped drinking and consuming drugs. God gave her money from a man who visited the video store, and she bought a little car, rented a place and started school.
She was getting her life together. Level did not accompany her on the journey towards God.
“For me it was too late,” Level says. “All I knew was the streets. I had a demon of rage, a murderous… Read the rest: Level Martinez bare-knuckle legend, Syndicate leader, now serves Christ.