Eduardo and Diana Rivadeneira were on the brink of divorce following years of drugs, alcohol, infidelity, and abuse. This is their testimony, in their own words, of how God redeemed them and has used their story to help others.
Diana: I grew up without my father’s presence as a whole. He traveled a lot and it was my mother (a Christian) who was always present. At the age of 14 I met Eduardo. During those years I turned away from God.
Eduardo: My childhood and adolescence were difficult. I was shocked at my father’s infidelity, the fights, the drunkenness. When I was 11 years old, my father left our family.
D: When I was 23 years old, I considered it a good time to get married. (Today I understand that Eduardo was not convinced it was the right time.) So, we were married, but without God and without knowing what we believed. Our marriage began with many errors. I was trying to change it but didn’t know how. Then our first child was born, Eduardo Javier. This baby brought a big turnaround in my life because I decided to be a mother rather than wife. After that our second son, Andrew, arrived, followed by our daughter, Valentina. The years after the birth of Andrew and Valentina brought the biggest problems in our lives. We lived in complete isolation, and our arguments eventually came to blows.
E: I became an expert at lying and deceiving. I started experimenting with drugs. I was going on drinking binges and hung around with dangerous friends. Alcohol, drugs, and infidelity were all a part of my life. By now Diana had thrown me out of the house on two occasions.
D: I started looking for answers in divination cards, smoking, and many other things that my friends recommended. But I never found any answers. During all these troubled years, my mother never stopped praying for us and asking me to seek God. I felt dead in life until the day came that I decided to go down on my knees. As never before, I prayed with my broken heart. I asked God: “Show me you are as real as my mother tells me.” From that day my life began to change. I had peace. I began to interact with God through a devotional time. While the problems were still around me, I was not the same and no longer faced the problems as before.
E: I went to visit a sorcerer from Venezuela who had come to town. I also visited a doctor of hypnosis, two psychologists, shamans, etc. Nothing worked. I did not change. One day I tried to argue with my wife, but I found that she was different and would not fight me. She said the fight was not with her, the fight was with God. That night when I went to sleep I told God that I had made my own heart hurt because of my actions, and I could not stand this life anymore.
D: During this time, God provided an opportunity to help our marriage. We were invited to a small group study and to a marriage seminar. This is when God used Leonel and Miriam Motta (FamilyLife directors of Latin America) and the ministry of FamilyLife to change our lives.
E: When Leonel and Miriam Motta arrived in our lives, it was an incredible intervention by God. We placed Jesus on the throne of our lives. Today they are our mentors and the instruments that God used to save our marriage.
God drastically healed Eduardo and Diana’s marriage, and they began using their experience to give free counsel to other couples who are struggling. Eduardo’s life was so changed that his former college roommate noticed the difference in his life and asked him for marriage advice. His former roommate is now a high-ranking government official in Ecuador, and he invited Eduardo to his office in Quito to talk about marriage for three hours.
The Rivadeneiras became involved with FamilyLife as speakers for the Weekend to Remember®. They also began leading HomeBuilders groups and hosting Art of Marriage® events. They currently serve as key volunteers for FamilyLife in Miami, FL. God has truly done amazing things in and through them!