My Spiritual Journey

John W.'s Testimony

I consider my up bringing as average and middle class. My mother grew up in a Presbyterian church and my father in an Episcopal church. My brother and I were not really raised going to any church. We probably attended less than 15 actual church services or Sunday school classes growing up. During the few times I attended a church I was taught that Jesus who was born miraculously was the Son of God, that he died on a cross for my sins and rose from the dead three days later. And that if I believed in him I would go to heaven and if I didn’t that I would go to hell. At least that’s how I understood whatever I was taught. As I got older I decided I didn’t believe that. And also that I didn’t believe in religion because there were so many religions and they all claimed they were right and the others were wrong. Because of that, they all seemed the same to me. All of them seemed to be of man and not of God.

What I did believe was that God existed, that there was only one God, and he could do anything he wanted to. I believed He knew all, saw all, and heard all. I would pray to God sometimes, and I believed he heard me because he heard everything. So I went on with life and lived with this kind of belief about God and religion.

When I was about 11 my best friend and I started getting in a lot of trouble together. We started by ditching school and getting involved with people that were into drugs. I was greatly influenced at that time by teens that were just a few years older than me. They were into skateboarding, tagging, drinking smoking, using drugs, backyard keg parties, and other crimes and ungodly things. But at the impressionable age I was, I looked up to them. To make a long story short, from the time I was about 12 to 16 years old, I smoked cigarettes and marijuana, drank, and I got arrested a number of times for vandalism. My mentality at that time was very backwards. I didn’t care about education. I didn’t want to go to school, and I really didn’t care about my life or my future. Read More »

The Day I First Found Love

Roger O.'s Testimony

I would like to share my story with you hoping that it will be a blessing to your life. As a child, I went through life searching for love because I was empty inside. I experienced many things that left me empty and influenced my direction in life. Being born in Los Angeles, California, into a poor and broken family, I witnessed my father’s alcoholism, constant fighting with my mother, and serious abuse. One time I remember as a child, around 4 years old, my father had many guys over at our house. He got his .22 rifle, pointed it at my mother and told her, “I’m going to kill you.” That caused our family to split up. I ended up going to drugs at an early age. I had so much hurt and pain locked up inside me, and no way to get it out, except through fighting and doing drugs. When my parents got divorced, it broke my heart. My mother just left. When she left, I felt my whole person died inside me. I really needed her love and affirmation but she was now gone.

Roger O. Before Jesus Christ
Roger O. Before Jesus Christ
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I went to a life of gang banging and a life of crimes. So full of hurt…so full of anger…so empty…searching for love. That road got tougher and tougher by the minute. I was arrested at the age of 12 for vagrancy and gang activity. I spent three whole months in Sylmar Juvenile Hall. I thought I was never going to get out. Finally, I was released, but in less than a week, I was back in. I became a prisoner in and out of jail until I was 18 years old.

Roger O. (left) with fellow gang bangers before coming to Jesus
Roger (left) with
fellow gang bangers
before coming to Jesus
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Central Juvenile Hall, Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, Camp Gonzales in Calabasas, Camp Smith in Lancaster, Camp Resnick, Camp Onasuka, Camp Jarvis, Camp so and so, Camp so and so… I did so much violence in the times that I was out of jail. I did so many drugs, had so much anger, so much pain and hurt, and my mother, was nowhere to be seen. I ended up running the streets living a sad and empty life full of mistakes not understanding “why me”. I did not have much to look forward to in life and I was not even a grown up yet, just a boy that needed love. I tried taking my life (Suicide) and putting an end to all of my problems, no more being hurt, no more bring sad, no more crying myself to sleep because of feeling unwanted and unloved. My brother and I took serious a life of gangbanging and we were willing to die for it. When I was in jail, the court system ended up re-filing my case due to me getting into too many fights………..I just felt numb…I WAS A CRIMINAL… I WAS A PRISONER… Read More »

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