My wife and I know first hand the pain and suffering of a family with drug addiction. For you see, I was a heroin addict for more than 20 years. I thank God for my salvation and for the Restoration Homes. It was here that I had a head on collision with Jesus Christ! It was here that I was "discipled". I was taught the word of God and the biblical principles that empowered me to live a drug free life and where I developed a relationship with Christ through prayer. This is where I learned to live a new life. I could have died of AIDS or an overdose, but instead God gave me life. As a result of my gratefulness, I have dedicated my life to God in service. I now serve as Pastor of the Milwaukee Victory Church, alongside with my wife and children.
I was born into a family of alcoholics in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At 10 years of age I was injecting Bacardi into an orange and sipping on it while in school. I began smoking marijuana and experimenting with other drugs. By the time I was 12 years old I was HOOKED! I had become a heroin addict. I had turned to a life of crime to sustain my drug habit, stealing from my family and committing robberies. I would get caught, and do time in prison. I would always tell myself "when I get out, I'm not going to use anymore." I would even stay clean for awhile. But eventually I would end up right back into the lifestyle of drugs, criminal activities and back into prison. I even became involved with gang violence, becoming leader of one of the most notorious gangs, the Latin Kings.
A Judge had declared me a "Habitual Criminal." I had been in and out of prison four times! By this time I had lost everything that was dear to me including my wife and children. I had broken many promises. I had come to the lowest point in my life. Even my own mother closed the doors on me. I ended up laying my head anywhere I could, abandoned cars, buildings, even drug houses. Here I was 36 years old with no direction, no hope and no future. I didn't like myself very much anymore. I was tired of being tired! I was desperate! I hated myself and what I had become. Until I made a decision that would change my life forever!
My wife told me about a church that helped drug addicts. She directed me to the Chicago Victory Church. I walked several miles to get there. I will never forget that night. On Jan. 28, 1989, I had a life changing experience with Jesus Christ! A "Miracle" had occurred! I was set free from the hold the drugs had on me. God not only took away my drug habit, but he also healed me from AIDS!
Today, I am a very grateful man. God gave me a second chance in life. He gave me back my family and wife. He chose to give me an opportunity to be a good father and a husband. He chose to make me into a man of honesty, responsibility and integrity. I am living proof that anyone, anywhere, can change through the power of Jesus Christ!