I was harmlessly flipping through Diario Popular, a Paraguayan tabloid, to get to the soccer spreads in the back. As I thumbed through the pages, advertisements with photos of women in risqué poses wearing low-cut tops appeared everywhere. The regularity of my magazine gazing quietly spiraled into an addiction to pornography.
One day at school, we were told that some guys, who I assumed were paid by the government, were coming to talk to us about teen pregnancy, abortion, STDs, and other embarrassing topics after school. Normally, I would have dreaded such a thing, but the soccer team I supported had lost the game the night before, so it would help delay the trash talk I would receive from my glory-hunting friends on my walk home.
My heart sunk when the first slide popped up on the cinder block wall for everyone to see: "Consecuencias del consumo de pornografía" (Consequences of Pornography Consumption). I froze.
There was a silence and
seriousness I had never felt
with my classmates before, and
in a strange way, it was unifying.
The speakers’ names were Joel and Anton, and surprisingly, they made a topic that usually left a bad taste in one’s mouth interesting and enlightening. It was their mood, their approach, and their manner. They talked about how Jesus could save us and help us in our quest for sexual purity.
They handed out colorful booklets with the title "Decisiones" (Decisions) written across in bold yellow letters with the smiling faces of a pregnant couple on the cover.
I remember walking home
by myself that afternoon
convicted of the perversion
in which I was living. Jesus had
something to do with it.
Although I still had many questions and was confused about a lot of things, I had a number for Joel and Anton I knew I could call. I ripped out the section in the booklet with their information and placed it in my pocket for later.
I could sense my life was on a different path.
Joel Rodriquez attended ILI’s first Spanish History Makers Journey that took place in Asunción, Paraguay. Joel brought his new boss, Anton Harder. Today, they have equipped tens of thousands of high school students to live pure and holy lives for Christ.