Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Should Have Been Murdered

My name is José Torres, and I’m 18 years old.  When I was 12, I ran away from home.  I traveled to Quito, Ecuador, to prove to my family that I could be a good student.  However, life in Quito was very difficult.  What little money I made only paid for my food and rent.  In my loneliness, I made “friends” with the wrong kind of people and began to abuse drugs and alcohol.  Although I felt “tough,” I also felt guilty, knowing that I was ruining my life.

When I finally returned to my family, I ended up in jail for robbery.  It broke my father’s heart.  Worse, at 16, I was shot with a gun while robbing a house.  I was very tired of my life.

One weekend, my friend, Manuel, went to a youth event called Youth Alert at the Nazarene Seminary.  When he came back, I wanted him to help me with a robbery, but he told me that we would not longer be “working” together.  Christ had changed his life.  Although I was frustrated at losing my partner, I was glad to hear that he had found a better way.

When Manuel shared with me what Jesus meant to him, it really impacted me.  His eyes were shining with happiness every time he talked about God.  He challenged me:  “José, do you want to have Jesus in your heart?  He changed my life and can change yours.”  In that moment I opened my heart to Jesus and accepted Him as my Savior.  That same night I had already planned to rob a house but didn’t go.  Later I heard that the police killed three of my friends in the robbery.  That proved to me that God has big plans for my life.  That night Jesus not only saved my life but my soul and spirit.  Thank you, Jesus!