Ismael Rodas (right) with Tino, whom he won to Christ after Tino was a homeless drunk for 40 years. They pose in the Door Christian Church of Guatemala City.
With one wrong turn, Carlos Rodas found himself wrenched between university protesters and gun-wielding police forces of the most repressive regime in the Americas at the time, that of Guatemalan president Romeo Garcia.
Police riddled his car with bullets and arrested him. The next day, Carlos was dead, after having been accused of being a communist subversive. He had $3,000 in his pocket at the time of his arrest, but now the money was gone.
Carlos’ brother, Ismael, was infuriated. Both he and Carlos had run a thriving bakery business and steered clear of politics.
“In the cemetery, I expressed my rage and my pain to my other brother,” Ismael says. “I wanted to know who the killers were and kill them and myself. I wanted to buy a machine guy. In those days you could still buy a machine gun. I wanted to waylay the chief of police because I knew where he passed every afternoon. I knew they would kill me, but that’s what I wanted to do.”
But Ismael worried about his wife and children, so he never executed his desperate plan.
Then the phone calls started coming in. It was always a stranger’s voice threatening him roughly. He had to leave the country within one month or he would be taken by a death squad. Suddenly severe anxiety mixed in with his anger and grief.
Ismael had studied with the Rosacrucian esoteric society and had also availed himself of Alcoholics Anonymous. But in this new crisis, these networks offering various mental and psychological tools were absolutely useless.
Ismael consulted experts in the occultic arts. A palm reader told him, without knowing his circumstances, that he was condemned to death. A “doctor” of yoga inquired supernaturally on his behalf but could offer no solution.
“You’re problem is very serious. If I place you in the North, there’s no room for you. If I place you in the South, there’s no room for you. Neither is there a place for you in the East or West,” the yoga man said, referring to metaphysical concepts. “You should leave the country, but it’s going to be difficult.”
But Ismael, was wary about leaving the country, even though he had U.S. residency. He worried that the military might ambush him en route.
The days passed and a death squad actually showed up at his home, but he wasn’t there. They ransacked the house. Security forces broke into his bakery, but fortunately Ismael had left. They tied up all the bakers and stole his money, Ismael recounts.
Seeking solace, Ismael turned to a warlock named Saoquin in the Florida neighborhood of Mixco, a city contiguous to the capital.
“He was Satan himself,” Ismael says. Read more about the warlock and ultimately freedom from sin the the rest of the incredible testimony.