He Changed Me – Rudy
My history was crazy, wild… I did a lot of bad stuff. My dad passed away, I spiraled, I hit rock bottom, and I was just trying to survive. I wasn’t working, just trying to make money to survive. I was living in an apartment and I had no money, no nothing, no light, no water. My friend came over and he said, “Hey man, what are you doing?” I answered, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m lost.” I felt hopeless and he just told me, “Hey man, I can help you.” So I said, “Okay.” And we started doing what we were doing. The crew I ran with, they’re in jail right now. They’re looking at a lot of time. Yeah, you would make money but it was just going down. It was just bringing me more and more down, more and more away from my kids, more and more away from my family. My family didn’t want to talk to me. It was just bringing me further and further from everybody that I knew. I started thinking about getting out, but then it was like, “How can I?”
It was like there was no way out. I’m in too deep.
I felt like the devil was just dragging me and dragging me more and more down. I was lost, that’s the only thing I knew.
One day my friend said, “Hey, I got this job. They’re looking for irrigation.” My boss, she gave me a chance. I used to pass by here and think, “Look at that church. That’s a nice, beautiful church.” Then I started working here and everything felt peaceful. There was no drama here. It felt right.
Omar kept talking to me and he would tell me his story and where he came from. I felt like he would understand where I was coming from, so I started opening up to Omar more and more and more.
He would always tell me,
“Come to church here. Come to church here.”
That’s when one day I just came over here in the afternoon and I talked to Omar and he asked, “Are you ready to give your life to the Lord?” He gave me a Bible and I went home and I started reading. I had never opened the Bible up in my life. I started reading the first chapter, the second chapter, the third chapter and I started calling my mom and I’d be like, “Oh, do you know that Adam and Eve…” and my mom’s like, “What? You read the Bible?” So my mom started getting closer and closer. She said,
“I see a difference in you.”
I told her that one day I went to the church and Omar asked, “Would you give yourself to the Lord?” and I said, “Yes.” She asked, “What? You did?” And I was like, “Yeah.”
Then the next week Omar was like, “You want to get baptized?” I called my mom again and I’m like, “Well, he wants me to get baptized.” Her response was, “Oh, you know that’s a big commitment?” but I said, “Yeah, but I think I’m ready.”
I was ready because I don’t want my kids to live the path I lived. I don’t want my kids to live the struggle that I did. I want my kids to know that there’s something better out here in the world than what I went through.
The Lord’s been helping me out a lot. He’s a blessing. I’m closer to my family now. My family comes to church. My little niece, her name is Jazzy, she saw me get baptized. The other day my sister called me and she’s like, “You know Jazzy just woke up in the middle of the night and said, “Mom, I want to get baptized like Uncle Rudy.”
Little kids, they look up to you and they see everything you do. So I don’t want to show my nieces and nephews and my kids bad stuff. I want to show them there’s good in life. That the Lord is good.
He changed me a lot. When my mom came, the pastor hugged me. The worship leader came up to me and hugged me. My mom said, “What? Like you look crazy.” And I’m like,
“But they don’t see me like that. They don’t see me as the crazy person with the tattoos on my forehead and all that. They see me differently.”
One of my friends is serving time and I tell him every day about the church and everything and he’s like, “That’s good. Just keep going the way you’re going. Don’t go back to what we were doing. Just stay straight.” One day he called me and said, “Hey, they have Bible studies in County.” He said when he went to the Bible study, there were only four people at the time. He started going every week and now he told me, “There’s like 25 people going. I go every weekend.” And I said, “The Lord’s powerful.”
We all make mistakes, but the Lord will forgive us for what we do. So I told him, “When you come out, I want you to come to this church.” He said, “Oh man, they’ll look at us crazy.” I said, “But it’s not like that. They really care.” I want to bring him here when he gets out. And I said, “You’ll see how life will be different. You don’t have to be looking over your shoulder no more.”
Give God an opportunity and he’ll do the rest.
You’ll be amazed at the power he’s got. He changed my life. He’s going to change my life.