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Satanist, gang-banging, drug-addicted cutter finds Christ & new life

Ulisses Sanchez, a Mexican immigrant in Des Moines, Iowa, can recall a time not too long ago when he lived life in the streets as a gang-banging tough guy. He joined the gang at 14 for protection at his school and kept his dark life a secret from his parents. At the age of 11 is when he started drinking and a few months later at 12 he started using drugs.

Not long after he joined the gang, he dropped out of school and moved to Atlanta to live with his older brother, but continued his gang life and drugs. He recalls during those years that he started his day by bowing to and praying before an image of Satan he kept in his room. His parents knew something wasn’t quite right when he moved to Atlanta and decided to sell all they had to follow him there. In the midst of all of the drinking, drugs (meth was his drug of choice), and gang-banging, Ulisses began cutting himself also. As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, he also became suicidal.

Meanwhile, his brother Edgar, who is seven years older, had been attending church in Atlanta and had gotten saved. Edgar talked Ulisses into coming to church with him one Sunday. Ulisses took two of his gang buddies with him, all of them dressed in their typical gang clothes. At the end of the service, his brother took Ulisses up to the altar for prayer and that’s when the remarkable change happened. The preacher told Ulisses that God wanted him to have a second chance at life and asked if Ulisses wanted it.

Ulisses, 17 at the time, remembers feeling so overwhelmed that he wept and cried out to God for help. He says he felt a burning inside and a sense of release and peace overtaking him. All of his desires for praying to Satan, gang life, drugs, alcohol, and cutting just left him at that moment. Ulisses doesn’t deny he has struggled since that time, but for the most part he has remained with Christ.

Now 24, Ulisses lives in Des Moines again, regularly attends church and has started a new career. His brother, 30, is a youth pastor in Atlanta. Ulisses did eventually come clean about his past life with his parents, but they continue to love and support him to this day. You can read the rest of Ulisses’ amazing testimony of God’s love, see pictures, & watch his video testimony at this link.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Psalm 25:7

…I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:13

Source: Mike Kilen. Former drug user/gang member carving his redemption out of fruit. DesMoinesRegister.com. August 4, 2013.

Harry A. Gaylord

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