Olga didn’t feel loved. In fact, she almost didn’t make it into the world.
When her mother was pregnant with her, her father didn’t believe the baby was his and pushed for an abortion. Another man, who became her stepfather, helped raise her from the time she was seven months old.
When Olga was five, her mother and stepfather started going to the Seventh-day Adventist Church where they lived in Puerto Rico and were baptized. The family became active in church activities and Pathfinders. Olga felt peace for the first time, and even dreamed that Jesus was with her.
Then, at the age of nine, her world was shattered. “I almost got raped,” she shares, “by the person that was supposed to protect me, a person that was very influential in church, a person that everybody thought of as a very good, Christian-minded person. It was my own stepfather.”
Feeling shaken, scared and alone, she became an angry child. Angry at God and the world. By the age of 17, she was living in the United States, had three children, and was trapped in an abusive relationship. When she was 18, she found an opportunity to escape.
Three years later, while living in Massachusetts, Olga met Felix. “He showed me that he loved me a lot,” says Olga, “so it was kind of like a different type of relationship.” Sadly, he died in
a boating accident, and she was once again alone with her children.
About two weeks after Felix died, Olga passed by a botanica, a store where they sell religious figures and have an altar for worship. Inside, there was a woman who reads tarot cards and coffee grounds.
“So, I went in, I drank the coffee, and she put [the cup] on a little electrical stove to get dry.” When the woman turned it over, an image of Felix was on the cup. Amazed, Olga thought, “This is true. It’s not fake. I thought that was spiritual praise from God.”
Weeks and months went by, and Olga set-up a shrine with the religious images and used them in her worship. Then she had a dream where there were people going up and down some stairs. Then a voice came through the clouds like thunder, saying, “Don’t you know,
that’s death.” She realized that God was telling her that what she was doing — dabbling in spiritualism — was a sin, and sin is death.
“I woke up. I knelt in front of my bed. I started sobbing and I asked God to forgive me, and I will never do it again,” shares Olga. She got up, took all the “saints,” and tossed them in the
Though she continued to search for God, she was still angry at Him for what He let happen to her. She finally said, “Well, maybe the devil can give me what you are not giving me: peace and money.”
On her way to get drugs to sell, a car came from out of nowhere and hit her on the driver’s side door. Unconscious, she saw the person from her other dreams coming towards her, reaching to hold her hand.
He said, “Don’t worry about anything. I’m Jesus, I’m with you. You’re going to be okay. You will leave the hospital walking.” When Olga woke up the doctor shared that her pelvis was
broken in three parts, and she would be in a wheelchair. She said, “No, Jesus told me that I’m going to leave the hospital walking.” He then shared that they were doing tests and had reason to believe she was bleeding internally. She again told the doctor there was nothing
to worry about.
“That day, I left the hospital walking on my own two feet.”
Knowing that God was calling to her, Olga began watching television preachers, looking for answers. Joyce Meyer was one of her favorites. One day she was amazed to hear Meyer share how her father — her biological father — began raping her at the age of nine.
Olga was hit with the realization that God had been protecting her all her life! “I’ve been angry at you all this time. Why?” she cried. “Nothing. How was a nine-year-old tiny kid able to escape?” “I needed to forgive Him; you know. So, I forgave God. And I know that He forgave me for not forgiving Him all those years.”
All the anger, unhappiness and confusion left, and she was finally able to look for God in a positive and openminded way.
Olga concluded that she had known all along that the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the truth because it goes according to the Bible. So, she began visiting the Triad Fellowship Church in Greensboro, N.C.
“And as soon as I went in, I saw the Holy Spirit in that church,” shares Olga. “I started thinking about getting baptized again.”
Today, Olga can say with certainty that God was always with her, helping her find Him. He was always there.
“I was the one searching. I was the one looking. I was the one running away. But He brought me to a place now where I have peace. I have faith.”
“I feel complete. I feel whole and I feel loved!”
—Rebecca Carpenter. Photos by Henrique Gomes.