Jesus “Chucho” and Lilly Chavero
Chucho was born and raised in a household with an absent, alcoholic father. From a young age, Chucho wanted to experience it all. Looking for a sense of belonging, at the age of twelve he joined the most notorious gang in town. As in most gangs, initiation required each member to be smacked in (beaten up) for eighteen seconds before becoming a part of the click. That didn’t have to happen with Chucho. He had already done some terrible things to prove himself a warrior who demanded respect from the members. He now belonged to an elite group that stole cars to help fund the high life of the gang.
One night at a wedding, Chucho was ambushed by a rival gang. Although he was only one against more than ten people, he still fought them off, but not before being stabbed multiple times in the stomach and back. Half dead, Chucho somehow managed to walk to the nearest hospital, where he collapsed at the entrance. As Chucho lay on what seemed to be his death bed, his Christian mother begged him to surrender his life to Jesus. The doctors had given very slim hopes of his survival and warned that even if Chucho did live, he would most likely be severely impaired and in a wheelchair the rest of his life. Chucho did not like his mother’s preaching; the only thing he had on his mind was vengeance to both sides — his enemies for what they had done to him, and his click for not coming to his aid when he needed them most.
Despite his injuries, Chucho was able to walk within a few weeks. With wounds still fresh and bandaged, he went to seek revenge. While deep in the throes of yet another fight, he was arrested. It suddenly dawned on Chucho that this was his last chance; there was no way he was going to escape long-term prison. However, he was miraculously released from jail the very next day. It was during this time that he felt God speak to him, “This is your last chance to come to Me.”
Chucho surrendered his life to Jesus that same day.
For months afterward, he lived dodging his former gang members and several gun confrontations with them as they sought to pull him back into the clutches of the click.
Four years have come and gone since those days, and Chucho is now one of the most dedicated, efficient, and effective witnesses of the gospel on the Vida team. He says: “Before, I gave all my life ready to die for the gang members. Now I live my life surrendered to Jesus and ready to die for the cause of the gospel.“
Chucho is happily married and has two young children. He and his wife reach out to a local tribe of Chichimeca Indians. While it is Chucho’s dream to be a witness for Christ to the people of Somalia, for now, God continues to prepare him in the Circle of Silence.