Hugo “Fort” and Yvonne Fortney
Fort was born in the poorest ghetto side of Mexico City. From a young age, he saw his father battle alcohol and be beaten by street gangs during his drunken stupors. Fort promised himself he would one day defend and avenge his father. Growing up with such bitterness led Fort to join a gang, where he stole and became involved with all manner of lawlessness that accompanies street life. His job as a taxi driver in a large city afforded the perfect cover for his dubious life. Not even his wife was aware of the things he did. Over time, street life took its toll as Fort watched his friends either be killed or jailed as they were arrested for aggravated robberies and murders. He escaped the authorities so many times that he counted himself the luckiest person of all. Little did he realize that luck had nothing to do with it. Even in the throes of street life, God had a plan for Fort and was determined to reveal Himself as Lord.
One day, something clicked in Fort’s mind and he came to the realization that if he didn’t change his life, he would soon end up like his friends. He sought help through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and was encouraged by their discussions and counsel. When he came to the 4th and 5th steps of the program, inviting him to submit to a higher power, Fort began to understand that it was more than luck that had kept him through the years – God had a plan for his life. Leaving AA, Fort joined a local church where he heard the gospel message for the very first time and surrendered his life to Jesus.
Fort freely admits it was not luck that preserved him all those times when he should have been killed or jailed; it was the hand of God. Believing God has called him to be a witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ, he has since gone back and shared the gospel with his friends who made it out of prison alive. He even has shared the message of salvation with some of the people he wronged in the past.
Fort and his wife have three children. They work together as Bible Study facilitators with Vida while training as missionaries in our church planting efforts in San Luis de la Paz.