I arrived in Brixton at 10 years old as a political refugee from Chile, with my parents and 2 younger brothers, due to the murderous dictatorship of Pinochet. I grew up during the ‘80s with racism, and many fights and struggles. My environment in Brixton moulded me to become hard, street-wise, a soldier. Survival and earning was the mission, & to come out of the ghetto.
By the ‘90s I had my own outfit selling drugs from street level to wholesale. Needless to say the rest followed - lavish life style, money, power, popularity, and a sense of self-importance.
During my rise in the cocaine game I was also raising a family. I was married and was blessed with my son in 1995 and my daughter 2004.
By the year 2000 I was flying in the game; I was out of Brixton; I had a lovely home, everything was perfect - I had a new born little girl, my son, a new home, a beautiful wife, money and influence, then BANG, Judgement!
I was arrested when my daughter was just 6 weeks old, and I was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
3 years later I was out on parole.
2 years after release, my marriage of 18 years broke down.
My family was split, my boy with me and my girl with her mum.
For the next 2 years I struggled with heart break. Not being able to concentrate at work led to many dismissals and my finance suffered, along with my son and me, barely being able to put food on the table. We had no Christmas dinner for 2 years.
“I’m not broken,” I would say to my self, “I can get out of this situation.” Well eventually I did. My concentration was on my work, and I started to realise – “I’m single, now enjoy life!”
So I did. Drinking, nightclubs, women, careless attitude, but nothing was fulfilling me. I gave myself what I wanted but it didn’t mean anything. It was an empty, dark feeling in the inner me, so I gave myself like a slave to my desires.
Then one night as I was on my bed, in my mind’s eye I saw a white glow in the form of a being come over me from above my head and overshadow me. Immediately my heart felt like it was being wrenched out, like a force pulling my heart out.
I couldn’t move, I couldn’t scream.
I struggled to utter “Jesus Christ”. As soon as I said that name, it released me, and I woke up calling his name.
But I was such a hard head that this incident didn’t change me.
I continued satisfying my desires, until that dark, empty feeling felt even more dark and empty.
On Friday 26th October 2012, I was in a club, doing the usual, when a female bouncer approached me.
She said, "Would you like to come to my church?"
I said “sure”, as I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying no, so she gave me her number and called me Sunday morning. I was up and ready to meet her, and when I heard God’s Word it was like food to my starving soul.
Immediately I started studying God’s Word diligently, and the hunger was insatiable. After 14 months I had gone through the whole of the New Testament verse by verse with every spare minute I had. I found a Church in Hambro Road that really taught the Bible, and started attending there.
I’m a new man now, a real man, gaining in knowledge and wisdom by the Grace of God, with the Bible showing me the difference between truth and error. My repentance came when I knew I couldn’t live any more on my power. But it was a gradual process.
I know that God changed my heart that night and the rest followed. I was too dumb and stubborn to realise this on my own.
Life is not a bunch of roses; I still struggle like everybody else, but I have an inner peace and joy no matter the circumstance.
Since I have acknowledged God and listened to Him, He has bailed me out many times, and I have not lacked anything, my needs have been met.
My faith in Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection, and the truths of the Gospel have been reinforced intellectually and by logic through the study of the Bible. Also through cross- checking with historical events and archaeology findings, as well as the many prophecies about Jesus that have come true.
I am a living testimony of God’s Grace, through Christ Jesus.