Juliana Batista drummer of Brazilian metal band Antidemon, was invited to give her testimony in “Changed”, an evangelistic book with life stories, released in the Netherlands. Check below the testimony of Juliana in full as it is in the book:
My name is Juliana Batista. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in a non-Christian family, but in my heart I’ve always felt a strong need to do things in a correct way in every sense. I always felt that there was a better world than the one I lived in and a life different to the one I knew! I wanted something on a higher level… Actually I wanted to get to know God! But things did not happen so quickly. The lack of something that really satisfied my soul led me into a state of deep sadness.
I always liked rock music and pop. There was a time when I listened to them and enjoyed them a lot… And I could identify with a lot of the lyrics and would then let my mind wander off into another world, but I continued being very sad and distressed in my own reality. My family has always been engaged and interested in Eastern religions and cultures and so I inevitably knew some things about these cultures and religions. But they never touched my heart. None of them brought me joy or gave me a real reason to live. For a while I thought that the reason for all of this fear inside me was because I was very shy and reserved. I tried to change… Forcing myself to be different, making more friends and trying to get out more… Then I got into electronic music. I went to a few parties, but the joy I felt through this was deceitful and fleeting.
One day, a group of friends invited me to go to a place with live bands. When I arrived I saw this place was a church, and the bands that played there were passing on a Christian message. The church was the Zadok community, which is now called Crash Church. At first I thought the whole thing was gibberish, but since I was already there I decided to stay… My friends seemed to like the place and I started going back with them over time. Eventually we started going to the meetings which took place on Sundays. Little by little I was listening to more stories about God and His plan to save the world through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But I had many doubts and questions. At that time I was still very sad and my life felt meaningless. There were days and nights of depression and anxiety. It exhausted me and things seemed to go increasingly worse. There seemed to be something much stronger than me that was destroying my desire to live and that was trying to tell me that my life would only be sad and that nothing made sense. Even in these dark times I was still not able to believe in God nor have a convincing experience that He really existed. Some nights I had horrible dreams and evil apparitions that scared me and caused me much dread. It seemed to be something spiritual, but it hurt my mind and my heart, and even my body suffered from these attacks. One night I was feeling even sadder than before, I tried to pray… I tried to read the Bible… I tried… I tried to talk to God, asking Him to prove his existence! I told Him that if He really existed that He would know how I felt and that He would release me from that awful feeling of sadness. Immediately, some amazing things started happening to me. The texts of the Bible I was reading seemed to speak to me and made me understand what was happening and then I felt another presence in my room. But this time, it was something full of love and peace… I felt as if Jesus Christ was there. I felt at that moment that He was revealing Himself to me, comforting me and making me feel safe. I felt his love… I felt that I wished to be carried in his arms. My prayer was being answered. A sense of hope and peace came over me.
From that day on everything started to change! I was getting to know God even better! I now knew that Jesus Christ existed, and that his power was destroying all the bad feelings in my heart and in my mind. So I started going to church with my heart truly opened. I learned to pray and to praise God… There was space for nothing else in my heart. I could not speak, think or hear anything unless it had to do with God. It was a radical change and it scared my family very much. They did not agree at all with my choice for this faith and my new vision of life. But I had faith and God filled my heart with joy. My dreams for the future returned and gave me the power to live a life totally dedicated to serving Him. I felt as if God Himself wanted this for me – living life for Him!
In 2006 God began to reveal something very strong to me as if He wanted me to accomplish His will. I started to feel in my heart the desire to play drums. I had never done anything with this instrument before, nor had I had any affinity or intent to learn to play it. But this feeling was very strong and I realized that it did not come from me, but that it was something from God within me. At that time the band Antidemon did not have its own drummer and I felt that God wanted me to join this missionary band. I told the band what I was feeling, and the leader of the band also said that God was touching his heart with respect to me having that position in the group. But we did not understand how, because we knew I was not a drummer. But if God was showing both of us something along those lines, let the will of God be done!
The first attempt was to begin fulfilling what I felt; I started drumming classes. But even after four classes I was unable to play anything at all and I had the feeling that I would never learn. I got frustrated and decided to give up the course. In fact I almost gave up learning to play drums. Through an act of faith I went to Antidemon’s rehearsal and tried to get something out of the instrument for the first time. When the band started playing some of the riffs from the songs, I just did what I wanted to get a better sense of the instrument. And the sound started coming out of it… It was really very peculiar, because the band needed a drummer to follow its path and tour around the world in a few months time. During the second rehearsal the band proposed to compose a new song. Every single minute of this experience was difficult for me. My body was being forced to do what it had never done before. But little by little, I felt that God was doing His will in me and made me live a supernatural miracle. Two months later I made my live debut with the band at a performance in the city of Registro in São Paulo. Amazingly, God made me play that instrument. Every day the feeling was getting stronger that it was He who was lifting me up to do this. Everyone around me was astonished to see me do what I had never done before! People who knew me could not believe what was happening to me. Those who did not know me could not believe that I had been playing with the band for only two months and playing Death Grind Core, Antidemon’s fast and heavy songs. I felt as if God never stopped making me learn and grow for His glory. So my mission continued with increased intensity every day! My life, which had already been transformed, was changing even more! After my debut and a few more performances around the country, I went on my first international tour through Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. God strengthened me in my mission to play this instrument even more and this incredible testimony began to be spread around. It was not just a personal miracle, but a living proof that God is powerful in raising and developing the ones He chooses! My life was consecrated to serving God with the band Antidemon. In recent years God has brought me to over thirty countries on four different continents. This wonderful calling that God wanted me to be part of has reached out to hundreds of lives like mine, that were once sad and depressed and only saw meaninglessness in life. Today I am happy to have served to bring lives to the one who changed my life: Jesus Christ!
About the project
Changed is a book and an ongoing website with stories of life. The first goal is to spread the book in major European cities.
The purpose of this publication is to inspire people and reveal what God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit means to lots of different people.
How it started
In 2013, Marcin and Milou decided to go to the Freakstock Festival in Germany. For the first time in his life, Marcin decided to do a project for God. Shortly after this decision, he stepped into their studio where something came from around 30cm over his head; the plan for project Changed exploded in his mind. Everything was super clear and detailed so he only had to write everything down. He had never had this kind of an experience before. Normally he would work for a longer period of time on an idea, but in this instance, everything was as bright as the sun.
In 2013 and 2014, a team of six people went to the Freakstock Festival to collect stories and photos from the people there.
For other testimonies and info, visit their website.
Our review of “Apocalypse Now” can be found here.
As previously reported, Vision Of God Records will reissue the albums “Demonicido,” (1999) “Anillo De Fuego” (2002) and “Satanichaos,” (2009) and as well release a BRAND NEW ALBUM, which is to be recorded soon.
Video below “Welcome To Death’