Prologue - The Beginning of the End

Life after the Death

1Peter 5:8 - Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion . . . seeking whom he may devour. (KJV)

I seemed to have a tornado in my mind. Thoughts raced around in a circle. They say "your life passes before you just before you die." I knew I wasn't dying, but distant memories of an innocent little preacher's kid in Ohio and exploits of a boy preacher who had become an internationally known and respected man of God were flashing through my head.

The David Randall Evangelistic Association Ministies, and my life had surely come to an end. How in God's name did I get here? Dad always said to us boys, "It's what you do in secret that determines who you are." Judging from my secret life, I was a total loser, a liar, a cheat, a pervert, a . . . I can't even think of anything bad enough to describe my life. What went wrong?

I knew how to pray powerful prayers. Thousands of people had been healed and blessed by my prayers, but prayers weren't working now. Everything seemed meaningless sitting in a dark, hot Mexican jail cell, not knowing if I would get out alive. I began to doubt if I ever actually believed the stuff I preached.

Those four hot days without hearing from anyone who might help me felt like four months. My entire body ached. I bled all over my body from bedbug and mosquito bites, and I had a splitting headache that just wouldn't go away.

The time had come for the troll who delivered my breakfast to slide it through the small opening in my cell door. The cold refried beans always had a crust on them, and I wondered what kind of insects had been crawling across the week-old tortillas.

I could hear the clanking of glass outside my window. Someone was filling the daily bottles with a garden hose. Soon, a grimy hand would shove a large, disgusting-looking pop bottle at me filled with warm cloudy water. I felt so hot and so thirsty, I had no choice but to drink it. I was becoming intimate friends with Mr. Montezuma and his revenge.

To amuse myself, I had made friends with a big, black rat that lived in a hole behind the toilet. He and I had some very stimulating conversations. I got the idea from a movie about a guy in prison who trained birds. I had actually tamed that rat. At least he had started to respond to me. I saved a scrap of tortilla one morning and had the rat eating out of my hand in minutes. I think he felt as miserable in that jail as I did.

I had never been in trouble a day in my life. I was never sent to the principal's office in school, and I had never even received a parking ticket. For the first time in my life, I felt helpless and alone.

I was learning real hate from a simple-minded slob who insisted on being called Detective, the head man at the jail, a man named Jose Camacho. I suppose that title gave him a feeling of power.

Jose must have weighed three hundred pounds. He had a ruddy complexion and looked like a tough guy, but when he spoke he had a thick accent and a shrill voice like a woman. The madder he got, the higher his voice pitched. Every time he spoke, it sounded like someone scraping their fingernails on a blackboard.