REY DAVID VARGAS / 15 JAN 2015 – I started using and selling drugs when I was 13 years old, and when necessary I was also carrying a gun. I grew up in a tough environment. If you weren’t into crime in my neighborhood, you weren’t “in”. I offer no excuses however, I made all the choices. I was a hope-to-die drug addict, drug dealer, liar and gang member. I was in a gang that was considered to be one of the most notorious in the history of the state of California. I could care less if tomorrow never arrived as I was growing up on drugs. I did not care. This went on for years as I was selling heroin. I would tell the junkies to rob, or steal and bring me the money. They would! I have seen a few overdoses and die from what are called “hot shots”, because they were late on their payments or “burned” someone. I saw the narcotic business over the years turn into all out war.
During my years in the gang I saw the illegal drug business change also! At first we were just a gang… until a constitution was drafted, that’s when things began to change. Under the constitution members all over were ordered to place all personal feelings and obligations aside until the purpose and goals of the gang were accomplished. Members were not to spill the blood of a fellow gang member. We were to carry out all orders of the appointed leaders on the power ladder of the gang as mandated by the constitution. Members were to do battle for the gang without question. Many gang members were highly respected and were given positions of power for gang “hits” they had made.
One of the things I remember most among the many years of gang activity is that it was a life where you constantly lived in doubt. I was in charge of a regiment and during times of full alert, armed body guards were assigned to me. I was a high-ranking member and a gang enforcer. Once, I recall a high-ranking member announced he had turned his life over to Christ. He was expelled from the gang and a few weeks later he was shot to death!
I have seen many of my friends die from overdoses of heroin because the dope was too raw. Gang members were not allowed to use any drugs, it was an automatic death sentence. I was stunned when I learned of a situation. During an internal power struggle, a “Captain” I was close to was lured into a room by another gang member for a “hit”. Two gang members were waiting for him, one grabbed him with an extension cord around his neck and another stabbed him 37 times and then cut his throat! Why? They learned he had been “chipping” heroin. I don’t mean to disrespect any gang or any gang member but I, myself, would never want to lead another dangerous life of gang activity. I simply offer my testimony to warn anyone to think twice before joining a gang. And, I say there is a better way through Christ Jesus. I have seen so many lives torn apart by gangs.
I went into the church and turned into a “suitcase”. Church members put their arms around me and started to pray. Some of them wept as we prayed the sinners prayer. I was just so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was to the point that I was abusing narcotics and I thought if I was going to get out of it I was going to go all the way! It seemed that up to that point all my life revolved around drugs and doing whatever it took to get them and sell them. I had come from a familia of heroin dealers, so I knew the game. When I left that service I was sober and alive. During the time of my conversion to Christ I was awaiting trial on my criminal case. I could have easily fled the country, but it was members of this church, who really didn’t even know me, that posted a $75,000 dollar property bond for my release. They told me if I was innocent to go to court and face my trial. I told them I would go to trial and no matter what happened I would take Christ with me… even to prison! Amen. Since then and my coming to prison I have done much study about this Jesus. I find life is a lot deeper than most of us wish to accept. One thing is for sure: There is a God above in a place called Heaven. I won’t say I understand it all, but if God created the world and everything that lives then what problem would this same God have in raising the dead? Seems clear to me.
I just give thanks and praise to the True and Living Lord Jesus that has spared me from death, hell and the grave. God has been so good to me allowing me to live this long. I was a violent person years ago. When I accepted Christ it was as if I had a new nature. Drugs change a person’s nature, I witnessed junkies and prostitutes getting gunned down in the streets for not paying their drug bills to the “pusher”. I had no pity for anyone, yet the Lord Jesus has shown me so much pity, I have learned it is God’s agape love, real love. He has plans for all who heed His calling. I now have life eternal.
Why I loved drugs so much is beyond me. Drugs are a tool of the devil, drugs change and destroy our human nature. I became violent. I was insane on drugs. I can say without hesitation that coming to Christ will change anyone’s life. It reduces crime and changes the moral attitudes of mankind. Christ provides moral direction for people encouraging them to avoid criminal behavior. That’s the bottom line for me!
To those of you who are suffering, you can pray this prayer: “Father God, I have acknowledged Your Son, Jesus Christ as my Lord and Redeemer. I am a sinner and I am ready to receive the Light of Your revelation that comes from Him. Let that Light find out every part of me and remove the darkness. Let it make me pure and alive for Christ and let it shine through me to others in Jesus Name. Amen.”
Rey David Vargas
Georgia State Penitentiary