Jesus delivered me from gangs
I started using and selling drugs when I was 13 years old, and when necessary I was also carrying
a gun. I grew up in a tough environment. If you weren't into crime in my neighborhood, you weren't "in". I offer no excuses
however, I made all the choices.
I was a hope-to-die drug dealer, liar and gang member. I was in a gang that was considered to be
one of the most notorious in the history of the State of California.
I could care less if tomorrow never arrived as I was growing up on drugs. I did not care. This went
on for years as I was selling heroin. I would tell the junkies to rob, or steal and bring me the money. They would! I have
seen a few overdose and die from what are called "hot shots", because they were late on their payments or "burned" someone.
I saw the narcotic business over the years turn into all out war!
We Were Not to Spill The Blood Of A Fellow Gang Member
During my years in the gang I saw the illegal drug business change also. At first we were just a
gang ... until a constitution was drafted, that's when things began to change. Under the constitution members all over were
ordered to place all personal feelings and obligations aside until the purpose and goals of the gang were accomplished. Members
were not to spill the blood of a fellow gang member.
We were to carry out all orders of the appointed leaders on the power ladder of the gang as mandated
by the constitution. Members were to do battle for the gang without question. Many gang members were highly respected and
were given positions of power for gang "hits" they had made.
It Was A Life Where You Constantly Lived In Doubt
One of the things I remember most among the many years of gang activity is that it was a life where
you constantly lived in doubt. I was in charge of a regiment and during times of full alert, armed body guards were assigned
to me. I was a high-ranking member and a gang enforcer. Once, I recall a high-ranking member announced he had turned his life
over to Christ. He was expelled from the gang and a few weeks later he was shot to death.
Automatic Death Sentence
I have seen many of my friends die from overdoses of heroin because the dope was too raw. Gang members
were not allowed to use any drugs, it was an automatic death sentence.
I was stunned when I learned of a situation. During an internal power struggle, a "Captain" I was
close to was lured into a room by another gang member for a "hit". Two gang members were waiting for him, one grabbed him
with an extension cord around his neck and another stabbed him 37 times and then cut his throat. Why? They learned he had
been "chipping" heroin.
I don't mean to disrespect any gang or any gang member but I, myself, would never want to lead another
dangerous life of gang activity. I simply offer my testimony to warn anyone to think twice before joining a gang. And, I say
there is a better way through Christ Jesus. I have seen so many lives torn apart by gangs.
It wasn't until years later that I finally had come to my senses and come to grips with life. A friend
kept inviting me to Church which I kept putting off. I gave all kinds of excuses but then one Sunday, for some strange reason,
I went to see what this Jesus could do for me. All I knew about Him is that He died a long time ago.
Church Members Put Their Arms Around Me And Started to Pray
I went into the Church and turned into a "suitcase". Church members put their arms around me and
started to pray. Some of them wept as we prayed the sinners prayer. I was just so sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I was to the point that I was abusing narcotics and I thought if I was going to get out of it I was going to go all the way!
It seemed that up to that point all my life revolved around drugs and doing whatever it took to get them and sell them. I
had come from a family of heroin dealers, so I knew the game. When I left that service I was sober and alive. During the time
of my conversion to Christ I was awaiting trial on my criminal case.
I could have easily fled the country, but it was members of this Church, who really didn't even know
me, that posted a $75,000 dollar property bond for my release. They told me if I was innocent to go to court and face my trial.
I told them I would go to trial and no matter what happened I would take Christ with me ... even to prison! Amen.
Since then and my coming to prison I have done much study about this Jesus. I find life is a lot
deeper than most of us wish to accept. One thing is for sure: There is a God above in a place called heaven. I won't say I
understand it all, but if God created the world and everything that lives then what problem would this same God have in raising
the dead? Seems clear to me.