I would like to share with you one life that YOUR sacrificial prayerful support and love has impacted through your support of Vida Impact Missions and projects like the playground. Without such platforms in a hostile culture, we would not meet people like Chavero. This is 1 of a 3 part story. Enjoy!
Growing up in my house was not always pleasant. My father was an alcoholic and has been since his childhood. Because of his temperament and mood swings, it caused my mother anxiety, stress, and fear. Her neurosis led to her hitting my brother and me frequently. It was a dysfunctional situation, but I didn’t know any other kind of normal.
When I turned 10 years old some things began to change. My mother had discovered a relationship with Jesus Christ after someone shared the gospel message with her. Her stress, anxiety, and fears started to fade away. This allowed her to show more love and kindness to me and my brother. My father continued to stay an alcoholic though. Believers also started meeting in our home to sing worship songs to God and share the words of God. Watching them entertained me, and not in a positive way. I used to laugh and tease them for how foolish I thought they were acting.
After going to church for a few years, I reached that point where I decided it wasn’t for me. In middle school, kids were respected for being in gangs. If you weren’t a part of one, then you were their victims. They would humiliate you, beat you up, or both. I wanted to be respected and I wanted to belong to something bigger than just me.
It started out with small things. I tried drugs, started hanging out with gang members. I would do small things for them to win their favor. As I got older, everything I was doing multiplied. I was doing more drugs, I hung out with well-respected gang members, and I was now beating up rival gang members. By the time I was 15 I had become somewhat of a leader for the 18th Street gang.
Destroyed by Drugs
The addiction grew stronger each day. There wasn’t a time where I wasn’t craving drugs. My body needed higher doses to feel good. I was out of control and not thinking with a right mind. I began stealing and assaulting people to get the money necessary to pay for my habit. This led to me making more enemies with other gangs and with law enforcement. I built a reputation as being a violent man. Every time I walked out of my house, I had the intention of getting into a fight. My life was so chaotic.
Note: Jesus and Lilly together with their 3 children are serving with VIDA Impact Missions in San Luis de la Paz, Mexico. In a few weeks, we will share the rest of their story.