Heaven Bound

Jesus as our Lord and Savior

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Isaiah 50:7

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be dismayed. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will triumph!

Titus 3:4

But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His Mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit

James 2:19

Do you still think it is enough to just believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror and fear! Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Modesto, California

 
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Member Testimonies

 

Many of us have been in a courtroom for a trial and most of us who had that experience didn’t want to be there. That being said when there is a trial before a jury any information or evidence that is considered “hearsay” is not admissible. In other words, if what you have to say or testify to is something that you heard from someone else that you did not personally see or hear, it can’t be retold or testified to in a court in front of a jury. The jury must only hear testimonies from witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of what they heard, saw and experienced.

Every SOTC member is an eye witness with a first-hand account of what Jesus has done for them and the hope is that this evidence will convince you (the reader) that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He alone has the power to forgive sins and to give eternal life to those who become born again by the Spirit of God. Our current member occupations include; carpenter, farmer, truck drivers,building inspectors, concrete mason, policemen, corporate CEO, corporation president, professional fighter, consultant, welders, fabricators, steel worker, real estate, retired, mechanic, business owners, Pastors, financial advisor, tow truck driver, stock broker, administrators and entrepreneurs.

Not all of the SOTC members have posted a testimony but we all have one thing in common, we have all put our faith and hope in Jesus Christ for a better life here and eternal life there.

"There will be a courtroom in Heaven someday (Rev. 20:12) and what a person decides to believe here on earth will have to be defended then. Jesus will either be on your side of the courtroom as your defender for believing in Him or He will be on the other side of the courtroom as your prosecutor for putting your faith in someone or something other than Him. If you are born only once you will die twice but if you are born twice you will only die once". John 3:3-6

 

 

 

My Name is Ben Hardister, and I am the current President of the Soldiers of the Cross Motorcycle Ministry.

I was raised in a Christian home and can’t remember when I didn’t love Jesus. I accepted Him as my Savior at an early age but unfortunately for me I didn’t continue to follow Him when I got into my teens. Pretty girls, a classic corvette and cold beer had captured my attention and sitting in a church pew wasn’t something that attracted me. I never stopped loving Jesus and I always gave a portion of my income towards His work but my life was lived for my pleasure and not His.

I graduated from High School and went into real estate and construction and quickly became very successful. I was able to purchase more of everything including airplanes and real estate but there was a growing emptiness inside my heart. The people and the parties were growing old and I didn’t like how everybody used everybody else for their own pleasure. I was just as bad or worse than the rest of them and I wasn’t who I wanted to be but there didn’t seem to be an escape or a way out of how I was living, at least not an easy way out. I knew it would take a commitment from me to turn back to God and I knew it would be hard to abandon my way of life and I couldn’t seem to take that first step. There was always a person, place or thing coming at me from the outside that seemed to keep me away from the change I really wanted on the inside. When there was lots of people, noise and commotion it was easy to pretend that God didn’t care what I was doing but in the quiet of the night and alone I knew that He did care about what I did and I had a horrible feeling that I was missing my purpose and my destiny for this life. I had no peace.

One day I was driving a new Porsche along the river on my way to an appointment and went past an old Full Gospel Church building that I remember going to as a boy with my parents. I eased off the gas and started down shifting gears and the next thing I knew I was parked in front of the church. Something had drawn me there, I had no plans to go to church that day but there I was. I went inside and to this day I don’t remember much except for the feeling of the orange shag carpet brushing the tears on my face as I bowed at that church alter and asked God to forgive me of my sins and for walking away from Him. I asked God to let me make a difference in the world for Him and I asked Him to keep me away from a life of sitting in a pew doing nothing for Him.

I think it was the fear of sitting in a church pew and doing nothing that pushed me in the wrong direction to begin with. Over the years God has honored my prayer to be used by Him to make a difference for His Kingdom. I’ll never be able to finish what He’s given me to do and I keep pressing forward looking to do more while shedding the weight that holds me back. I love this feeling of being a servant of the Most High God and I never want to be anything else. I wrote a book called “Faith Without Honor, and dogs that can’t hunt” to encourage others to have faith in Him. I have traveled the world to build up people and ministries in the name of Jesus and being in SOTC is one way that God has answered my prayer to be used by Him.

I’ve made the mistake of thinking that I could take a break from serving God and found out each time that life is empty and cold when you don’t feel the hand of Jesus on your shoulder. I’m thankful to Him for never leaving me or forsaking me regardless of how many mistakes I’ve made by going my own way. The Word says “Like sheep we have all gone astray” and it’s true, we have. Turn your eyes to Jesus because His eyes have never left you. God doesn’t care who you were only who you are and if you open your heart when He knocks He will show you how much He loves you and give you a future and a hope.

If you need a change in how you’re living and want to know Jesus come talk to us, we’ll help you find your way to the light and the Cross. If you’re a Christian that is following Gods Word and want more faith and a closer relationship with God come talk to us and join in with other Brothers looking to do the same thing. If you have always wanted to use your scooter to glorify God, SOTC is the place. I thank God for a Mother and Father and family that never stopped praying for me and I thank God for my wife and thank God for my SOTC Brothers who pray for me every day.

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My name is Dirk Nieuwenhuis and I am the Vice President of SOTC Modesto

I grew up in the church, attending church in the Bay area. I became a Christian at chapel in 6th grade, attending Walnut Creek Christian Academy. I continued school in Walnut Creek, then went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a Dutch Reformed College, where I met my first wife. I got married, moved back to Walnut Creek and found drugs.
Eight years later, realizing an addiction to crank, I went to St. Helena Drug Rehabilitation. Did my 28 days and never did crank again. Few years went by and I started drinking and smoking weed, all while being married with 2 children and attending church. My lifestyle ended my marriage.

I focused on God in my crisis. Met my second wife. Moved out to Modesto and went back into my same routine of attending church and tithing 10%, but living a Luke-warm Christian life. The Bible refers to Luke-warm Christianity in Hebrews “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.

So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16). Desiring more in my life, I started reaching out to God through various Bible Studies. Every one of them had something for me. In November 2015, in a very dark place in my life, I recommitted my life to Jesus @ The House Modesto.

I wanted more, because the only peace I got was from serving others. I am now involved in numerous Bible Studies. Additionally, I am a member of SOTC Modesto. It is a motorcycle ministry that desires to serve less fortunate men, women and children throughout Northern California. We have members from all walks of life desiring to serve The Lord and our fellow brothers and sisters needing love that comes from The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God says, in 1 Corinthians 13:2-3 “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. In closing, I would challenge men to come see what we are all about. Give your life meaning through Jesus Christ our Savior. God can work with the good and the bad, but don’t be Luke-warm because He’ll spit you out. God prepares a path for each and every one of us. We would love your path to lead to SOTC Modesto.

 In His service

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My name is Dennis Allison,

My birth mother had me when she was 15 years old and I was adopted at birth by another couple. I grew up very angry and getting into fights became a way of life and getting into trouble with the law soon followed.

I started doing drugs at 13 and my friends were also my enemies. They stole from me and others while committing crimes and when they got busted to escape punishment they put the blame on me. My extended family were thieves and criminals, men without honor that I willfully kept company with who sold me drugs and were always eager to drag me down to a new low. .

In my heart I longed for true friends and a fatherly mentor to teach me about life. I became involved in a certain “Outlaw” motorcycle club at the age of 21. I had grown up around this outlaw club my whole life and at every turn in my life they were there. My children would be bouncing on a friend’s knee one week and that person would be in prison for murder the next. This was my “Normal” everyday life. As I got deeper into the club my health was deteriorating rapidly (looking back God was trying to get my attention) to the point I was in the hospital dying, I overheard the doctor tell my family “We’ve done all we can do, if he makes it thru the night, there’s hope.” Early in the morning I woke abruptly and felt a presence enter the room, I felt a cold, empty, hopeless feeling that scared me to my core. I KNEW my time had come and I started to cry out to God telling him I didn’t want to die! My wife had just given me a son and I needed to be there for him. “Please have mercy on me I cried out to God!” and in an instant another presence filled the room and drove out the other presence. Suddenly I began to feel warmth starting at my toes that went up and filled my whole body. I started smiling and saying YES! YES! I wanted more of what I was feeling and as I looked up from the hospital bed a small twinkling white light began to shine down into the room towards the door and slowly started to get bigger and bigger until it engulfed the whole room and then suddenly it just disappeared.

I went to church one week after being discharged from the hospital and gave my life to the Lord Jesus and I have never looked back! God poured out his love, healing and wisdom on me for three years as he pulled me out of the darkness and deep despair that was my way of life. I was a new believer for three years being ministered to and then I decided to start ministering to others and to give back some of what I had been given. I started a motorcycle ministry and set out to reach other Men like myself, those looking for REAL brotherhood and those wanting to change their world. I have met those men and the ministry I started has merged and become part of the Soldiers Of The Cross!

Today I have true brothers that have my back and who hold me up in prayer and co labor with me to further the Gospel. By the power of JESUS CHRIST we have built orphanages and Church’s in Mexico, supported homeless missions in Modesto and San Francisco, supported many missionary’s around the world and built a women and children center in Cambodia to combat sex trafficking and the list goes on. I am truly blessed!

Real manhood must be taught. Iron sharpens iron and there is no greater teacher than JESUS CHRIST!!

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My name is Tim Purvis.

I'm 46 years old & was born in Long Beach, CA. From a young age my parents divorced & I opted to live with my Dad. We then moved to San Jose,CA. From there I started getting involved with the wrong crowd, skipping school, & got my first taste of drugs & alcohol. I become defiant & lashed out at authority all the while taking physical abuse from my Dad.

I was in & out of group homes where my drug & alcohol abused continued. By the time I was 23 I was a full blow addict. Marijuana, Coke, PCP, Alcohol, & my favorite Meth. Soon into my 23rd birthday I found out that I had a heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy & had my first pacemaker installed.

Now I'm on my 4th. In order to sustain my addiction, I began to deal drugs. When the word spread & as other addicts found out the quality of my product, I become invincible & slumped harder into my addiction. By this time I had found myself moving to the small town of Susanville, where I continued to deal & gain a huge clientele. Through the years I got clean & sober on & off but it never stuck. In 2013 I finally became exhausted with my 28-year addiction & entered myself into a Christian Rehabilitation Facility for life controlling issues called Teen Challenge.

There is where I re-dedicated my life to Christ. I successfully graduated & I also met my wife. Both my wife & I were diagnosed with Infertility. Two month into our marriage we found out we were pregnant with our son Tobias Matthew Roman! One month after he was born we had to move to Modesto so I could be closer to heart specialists.
During our move I was seeking God asking for a brotherhood of Christian brothers. Shortly after moving to Modesto God directed me to “Soldiers Of The Cross” I immediately got involved as this Ministry helps its community, holds weekly Bible Studies, prays & encourages not only us brothers but those they come in contact with.

Since being a part of SOTC I celebrated my 3rd year of sobriety. I give all honor & glory to God for my family, my SOTC family, & my sobriety. SOTC is an amazing ministry to be a part of if your looking for Godly brothers who will love on you, pray for you, hold you accountable, & most of all encourage you in the Word then SOTC is the Ministry for you. After all who doesn't love bikers that love Jesus.

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Michael “Mayday” McDonald’s Testimony My name is Michael McDonald, and I am a follower of Christ. Though the first memories of my life were in church, this did not mean that my life would be any less sinful or painful. I learned about the Bible, and I felt something as a child that I would never forget no matter how far I ran away from God. Unfortunately I also had the heavy feeling that I would never be good enough to be like the other people I saw in church. I have many memories of being persecuted by my church going family members, and I thought that I could only be in the “Christian club” if I was able to be perfect. As a young man I would stumble upon many things that would change my life for the worse. When I was around 10 years old I would stumble upon large amounts pornographic magazines left abandoned in almond orchards around my childhood home. From the first moment I stumbled upon them, I was immediately addicted and my life would never be the same. The more I looked at pornography and the more I sold my morals to become respected in the eyes of my friends, the worse I felt about myself. I consistently felt the list of my sins growing bigger and it make me feel even more out of place at the church. Instead of the church being a hospital for the sick, as it should be, it seemed to be a stage for people to act as if they had it all together even though we all knew otherwise. As a young man I also asked God for a difficult life. I saw that nothing good was easy, and all the people in the world who I admired had taken a very difficult road to be somewhere of importance. I had no idea what God would use in my life to make this dream come true, but I meant it when I said it. Proverbs 16:9 says “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord determines their steps. ” When I was 12 years old my older brother invited me to a kickboxing class. I was hesitant, but I took him up on his offer. I turned out to be very good- Better than anyone else close to my age. When I was 14 years old my coach told me that he was going to be hosting a kickboxing event and I was going to fight in it. As a 14 year old I fought a young man who was 21 years old, and to my surprise I did fantastic. I would continue my pursuit of martial arts to begin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I would also go on to have 9 more amateur fights, going undefeated in them all. When I was 16 years old I began my professional fighting career at Indian Casinos all around California. I continued to stack up 7 professional wins with 7 first round finishes by either knockout or submission. I had great success in combat sports, and my identity was completely defined by pornography, my relationships with women, and my success in the cage. I had stopped going to church all together because the pile of my sins had grown far too high. I truly wanted to be good, but I knew I could never do it. I was bad and I couldn’t stop being bad. I felt as though I would never be welcomed in another church if people knew who I really was. I covered all pain I felt by sex, pornography, and accomplishments so that I could try to convince myself that I was happy with my life. At the age of 18 years old my world started to fall apart when all 3 things I used to find my worth would fail me. I would suffer my first loss in my MMA career, which would end up in glorious defeat. I was drinking my food out of a straw for multiple days. The people that once praised my wins were now cheering for me to get my face pounded in as the referee had to step in to save me from further damage. I had a dislocated arm, a nearly knocked out tooth, a black eye, a busted lip, multiple cuts on my face, and the entire world seemed to thoroughly enjoy my suffering. I had also just ended a relationship with my girlfriend who I was living with at the time, as she had left me for another man. To top it off, all the pornography I could watch would make me feel better for only a moment… just to have all the pain rush back even stronger than before and leave me even more broken than before. I had seemed to lose everything- my fame, my fortune, my popularity, my girlfriend, my happiness, and my peace of mind. I was completely broken and worthless.

 It was at the time when I had nothing to offer God, and I had all but given up that the Lord would rescue me from the pit of death. I had nothing to offer the Lord, but He looked down from His throne and saw me, and had mercy upon me. He had a plan for me and none of my so called “failures” could ever stop God’s glorious story of redemption for me. He called me “friend” and “son” when I was nothing more than an evil rebellious sinner. Romans 5:8- “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God spoke to me on that day, and He told me that He loves me, and He will give me joy. He told me that it was just a taste of the joy that He can give me. I ran down the street jumping and shouting like a crazy man due to the joy that The Lord had spoken in my heart- It was something I haven’t felt since I was a young boy. It was the most pleasurable thing I had ever felt, greater than any drug.

 It was given to me with no following guilt, no hangover, no crash, and no shame. It was a free gift of pure joy with no negative consequences to follow. On this day I recommitted my life to the Lord. Since this day I have learned that I will truly never be good, but the great news is that I do not have to be. Christ is good for me. He died for my sins, and because Christ lives in me, He is good for me. Any good that I do is Christ in me. I am a sinner saved by grace, and the Lord has captured my heart. Romans 7:18- “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but I can not carry it out.” God has thrown my sins as far as the East is from the West. The wrap sheet on my life’s sins has been destroyed and in the eyes of God, I am made clean for all of eternity. Christ took my punishment, and in turn, gave me the reward for His perfect life. The story of the Gospel of Jesus is a ransom for my life and for yours. To anyone who will accept Jesus, for anyone who truly believes that Jesus is who He says He says He is, we gain the right to become children of God.

 Our dirty rags stained red as crimson will be washed white as snow forever. Jesus has already taken our punishment. We only need now to simply accept the free gift of Jesus’ reward of perfection. When we sell ourselves to God for the reward of Jesus’ righteousness we will never again be alone, worthless, or useless. God will unfold a destiny for you that will be a shining story of His glory and goodness. You will be a sign to the world that God’s redemptive power is beyond any power of sin and failure. My life since becoming a follower of Jesus is even harder than it used to be, but it is also much more joyous. Just as my life as an adult is harder and more satisfying than my life was as a child. Surrendering my life to Jesus and accepting the free gift of Jesus’ righteousness in exchange for the punishment I should have received was the single greatest moment of my life, and nothing will ever compare to it.

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Pastor Joe Harmon

 

I have been an addict sinceI was eight years old and was locked up by the age of 13. I become homelessat the age of 16.

 I have lived in ditches, park bathrooms and anywhere elseI could find shelter, I stole from everyone, and hurt everyone I have ever loved and was surrounded and associatred myself with people that did not have my best interest at heart.  Thta was not what I imagined my life would be. I wanted to be a good son, good studen, good brother  and become a great husband and father. I just did not have the tools to make it happen.

I can remember as a kid getting in trouble and it breaks my heart because once again I let my mom and my dad down. You see I just couldn't figure out how to be the person I was supposed to be. So down this path I go for 38 years not knowing where or how it was going to end. I was incarceration  for over 30 years in every level four prison in the state, estranged from my family for 25 years and broken!

I sat in a cell in Pelican Bay SHU in the middle of a 17 year term wondering if this was all life had to offer and  if there wasn't something more, something different, something better? I sat there for 10 years trying to figure out if this all my life is ever going to amount to! One day in that sell by myself I hid my face and asked this God that I have been reading about if he was real I could love someone like me and change someone like me, and asked him to show me.

 I can tell you honestly from that moment on I have not been the same person that fell on his face.  My life hasn't been perfect and is filled with happiness, struggles, ups and downs, but at every turn I have the power of Jesus Christ to guide me to do the right thing no matter what!!

I have been on parole or probation since 1974. But today I am a free man because of the love and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Today I am a pastor I am a productive citizen in my community I reach out and speak to troubled youth I attack gangs and drugs through the power of Jesus Christ!! And I am an example of the unlovable being loved and what that can do. And let's not get it twisted this testimony is not about prison and drugs, I don't care where you been to prison or do drugs the story is about being lost in the world and being rescued by the power of Jesus Christ!!

 

Rick ( Chardo ) Ryan

Professional Driver 40-Years ! Retired ; No Longer Working For Mankind, I Work For The " LORD " Now ! ! !

My Mom was of Mexican Decent, So Naturally, I Was Raised in The Traditional Catholic Religion, Meaning, I Heard The Story"s About Adam & Eve, Moses, Pharaoh, Parting of The Red Sea, Wandering in The Desert for Over 40-Years, The Woman at The Well, All The Miracles That " JESUS " Did While He Gathered His Disciples, And Ministered All Over Israel. So I Knew of " JESUS " But Did Not Have a Relationship with Him Personally. But Through My Life From Very Young, I Had This Insight, This 6th Sense, But Now As I Have Come To Realize It Was " YESHUA " All A Long, Guiding Me, Protecting Me, Providing All My Need's, And He Was Letting Me Know It Too. Because Every Time I Would Think About How Did That Come About or How Did That Happen ? ? ? I Would Stop And Be Quite And Listen,Then The Feeling would come over Me of Peace And Everything is Ok and Will be just Fine, I Got This ! So After This would Happen Time and Time Again, Through My Life, I Found My Self Talking To Him, Not Really Praying Just Talking To Him, And I Just Knew He Was Hearing Me. So As This Became So Real to Me It Really Made Me Question Why and How This Catholic Religion Didn't Make Any Sense ! After My First Marriage of 30-Years Failed, I Was Wandering For A Couple Years, Then I Met My Coworker my Fishing Buddy's Wife's Sister, We Had a Lot in Common, And We Were Both Seeking The " LORD " We Got Married We Moved To San Diego Started a New Bussiness, And Sought Out A Good Bible Believing Church, And Boy Did I ! ! ! " JESUS " Was After Me, He Was Convicting Me Hard While in Service Several Times, It Was Taking All My Manhood To Not Totally Break Down Right There in The Middle of service, My Wife Would Be Holding My Hand and Arm She Could Feel Me Crying Inside, Breaking Down Convulsing, Ever Word That was coming out of the Preacher's mouth Was Straight From " JESUS " And He Was Hammering Me, He was Giving it straight to me, He was Letting it All out, My 48-Year's of My Worldly Sinful Life, So in April 2004 I Gave My Life To " JESUS " I Got Baptized ! We Helped Out at The Church, and I was Feeling That The Lord, was Pulling Me, He Wanted to Direct me Down another Path, And I Prayed Too Be Released From Mankind to not be a Slave, Anymore Especially to The Almighty Dollar ! ! ! And After Some Year's, When the Time was right for Him, I Was Set Free, August 13 2013 Since Then My Life Has Never Been Better, Never Been Happier, ! ! !

THANK YOU " JESUS " FOR YOUR GIFT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE UPON THE CROSS THANK YOU FOR LOVING ' ME' THAT MUCH ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Mark Christianson

My name is Mark Christianson The first 17 years of my life were spent almost entirely inside the walls of the Christian Church and Christian schools. My parents forced me to be at church just about every time the doors where open. My father was a CHP officer and he was also a deacon, usher and treasurer of our church.

That was His world. One day, in my junior year of high school, I came home from school to find my father had moved out of our house and that he had left my mother for a woman who sang in the church choir. My small, limited, shell of a world came crumbling down in one second. I felt like every single thing I had ever been told and taught had been completely compromised and I found myself at a crossroad.

I was running out of patience with the whole situation that was thrust upon me and I had to make some choices. I could either hold on to my creators hand or I could give Him the finger. The knucklehead that I am ended up making the wrong choice and walking away from the only one who really loved me, God. What followed my decision to walk away from God was three decades of darkness that included drugs and alcohol and losing good jobs. I fractured my relationships with friends and family and went through two divorces and two bankruptcies.
I had two sons who wouldn’t even talk to me. When I was about to turn 50, I realized what a complete failure I had become. I was living out of my pickup truck with what little I owned locked up in the local storage facility. It seemed like the only thing I had going in my favor was my job. I was looking for a place to rent but at that moment I was in no rush. The one thing I wanted most to do was ride my bike to Sturgis before I turned 50.

My daughter lived in Rapid City at the time and wanted me to come out for the renewing of her wedding vows so I took four weeks of vacation time off work, loaded up my scooter and headed east. The ride alone did me good. I had plenty of time to think and reflect. While I was in Rapid City I enjoyed the beautiful time with my daughter and her family. I had also made a new friendship with one of the women bartenders at the Full Throttle Saloon. Long story short, she ended up moving out from Illinois to live with me in California. When she got to California and we moved into a house together she said she wanted to go to church so that is what we did.

On Sunday morning we headed down to the Church House and God miraculously met us there! In one service God touched my inner heart and cleared up the confusion of my childhood. He forgave me for the years I had wasted and gave me purpose for the few years I have left. God cleared the way for us to get married and He straightened out the crooked road I was on. It's not always easy and in fact it's quite a struggle but now I’m on the road walking towards God and not away from Him.

Being a member of SOTC gives me encouragement to keep throwing haymakers at the enemy and to swing for the fences because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

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My name is Mike Pereira, as a child I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and attended parochial school until 8th grade from there I went to public High School. I continued attending the Catholic Church until I was about 19 or 20 years old. When I was about 16 I began getting into trouble but never got caught, I always thought “if you are going get into trouble know how to get out of it faster than you got into it. It was mostly cowardly stuff, vandalism / miscellaneous mischief stuff like that. I continued this behavior into my early twenties.

I knew about God from my upbringing but at the time I did not have room for Him in my life. My girlfriend became pregnant; we married and had a son. When my son was about 5 years old I began feeling the need to return to God for my son and myself. About that same time I was reconnected with an old friend whom I had not seen for several years. Knowing our past he was the last person I expected to find out was on a church softball team let alone going to church.

Some time had passed after reconnecting with my friend, when one day he and I were having a conversation and I stated that I felt that I should teach my son about Jesus. Without hesitation and all seriousness he turn and looked at me and said “God holds you responsible for that!” I was stunned; the words he just spoke hit me like a punch in the face. He noticed my shock and said “hey I not trying to bum you out or anything but that’s just the way it is”. Soon I began getting up early on Sunday mornings and taking my young son to the early Catholic Mass, it was all I knew, but it just didn’t seem to be the right fit.

I soon began attending a Baptist Church that taught from the Bible. If you have been raised in a Roman Catholic Church leaving for a Protestant church can make you feel conflicted. The Baptist church was a good fit and raised both my sons there. The Lord has been able use me in that church as a Sunday school teacher, as a church Elder and on the Stewardship Board. I know He is far from being done with me and has more for me to do. God has blown me away by even the simple things I have seen Him do in my life.

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My name is Tony Bonham. I’m 49 years old. I’m the youngest of 3, born to alcoholic parents. Alcohol, violence and hate filled our house. My mom and dad divorced when I was 4. My aunt and uncle adopted my brother. My dad ran my sister off.

At 12 years old, I left my mom’s house because stepdad #2 hit me in the face with a belt buckle. I went to go live with my dad, but his wife didn’t like me and told me, “This isn’t your home”. They let me stay in their barn, where I could drink. I began smoking weed. My cousin introduced me to crank and acid. Within a year I was out of control and consumed with hate. I was removed from what I called home by the state, where I became a ward of the state.

When I turned 20, I joined the Army. Within 6 months I was discharged for drunkenness and violence. Within a year I got into more trouble and spent a year in county jail. I decided to move to Florida, still doing reckless things, but now added crack cocaine. Life became crazy, violent and hateful. In 1996, after a day of drinking and fighting in Nevada bars, I fell asleep at the wheel. My truck flipped 6 times. I broke my neck and was paralyzed from the shoulders down. I was medi-flighted from Nevada to Utah, where they put me back together. Then Idaho for rehab. Moved in with my therapist, who was married and going through divorce.

The Lord tried to deal with me here, but I wasn’t listening. Our arrangement lasted 2 years. My neighbor, during those two years, taught me how to grow weed. For the next 16 years (from 1998-2013), that’s what I did. My violence and hate turned into RAGE. Rage became my new “Drug of Choice”. I lived in my truck, with my dog and weapons. It was my way of life. I made deals with people to grow in their orchards, yards or fields. It made me angry and got worse and worse. In my truck I carried an axe, a meat cleaver and a slug loaded shot gun. Everyone wanted to rob my plants. The old saying, “pot heads aren’t violent people” is a lie. Get in my garden and see. The rage was worse than any of the numerous drugs I took. One day a man had stopped his car before a railroad crossing. Waiting for a train to approach, I was so enraged, I began to push his car with my truck. Every bone in my body hurt. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t function anymore. I didn’t want to talk to anyone because “I Hated Everything”. I thought I was going to explode and they would find me blown up in my truck. I stopped growing weed, moved into a room in an old shop.

 The old guy gave me an old TV. I made an antenna out of wire and PVC pipe. I didn’t get much on the TV, but what did come the first two days was “The House Modest”. The first day was “You’ve got a bad mouth and you’ve got a bad heart”. It was the same message the next day. I knew I needed change and believe The Holy Spirit was telling me to worship there. As I walked into the church I saw a man I was in jail with 20 years before. I visited with him a while, then I went to talk to people in the office. It was a gentleman who, after I had told him more of my story, interrupted me saying, “God brought you hear today, Tony, to remind me of who I was before I surrendered my life to God the Father, His Son Jesus and The Holy Spirit that abides in me”. He led me in a prayer and Jesus changed my life. I went home, cleaned out my house, got rid of everything and started over.

The Lord has blessed my life, He delivered me of my rage, drugs, alcohol, lying and cheating. He took me to Africa, showing me miracle after miracle. He will do the same for you. Jesus came to earth to die for our sins. He gave everything he had so that, through him, we could become reconciled to God The Father. That we could be forgiven of our sins. That we could be shown the mercy of God. That God, through His Son Jesus, gives us Grace and a Promise of Eternal Life with The Father, who made us. His Son, Jesus Christ paid the price for our salvation. Hallelujah

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Rueben Patino

I was born and raised in San Jose, CA. As a child we were not exposed to church or God. My parents always worked, so we were always having people watch us. At the age of nine I was abused by an older cousin. This went on for almost a year. I started acting out, always getting in trouble fighting with my siblings. At the age of 12 I joined a gang. I jumped in and found acceptance, in this lifestyle. With all the fighting and getting into (drugs) pot and beer. Our family moved from the Eastside to the Westside, making it impossible to stay with my gang (a good thing). I traded in my baggy pants and Pendleton for the GQ look, finding my girl (Vicky).

Soon she became all I cared about. She got pregnant so I told my mom and we already had a horrible relationship. She told me to have her get an abortion. I was 15 years old, not knowing any better. Vicky left me, changed her phone number and didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I believing everything that was said about me being a piece of crap, the black sheep of my family, doing harder drugs, I became more lost in my sin. When my son was being born I got a call from my brother and went to see my girl. We ended back up together. Then at 17 years she got pregnant again. By this time I was already living with my aunt, then sleeping in my car and ended up staying with my girlfriend’s sister. So I thought I would do one thing in life right. I was going to get married at the age of 17, but I needed permission from my parents, a notarized letter. My mom told Vicky not to do it. I was going to ruin her life, but she got us the letter. We were married. All I did was do as I was groomed to do, terrorize my wife, put her through Hell. All I did was work and provide, but my life was a wreck. Selling drugs, doing drugs, not coming home for days. After 10 years, of pain that I caused, my wife was done… The only person that loved me gave up on me. That was the wakeup call. I had to make a real choice. Do as I was told, get right, seek God or rot in the Hell I created… I started attending a small church on Maze BLVD in Modesto. Every week I would argue with my wife, saying, “I can’t believe you’re telling the Pastor about us”. Little did I know, it was the Holy Spirit? After three weeks of this, I finally went up and received Christ as my Lord and Savior. I couldn’t believe I could have a fresh start. Everything would be forgiven. “Church isn’t for people like me”, that is what I believed. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, It is by faith, thou faith, it is a gift of God and not of works, so that none may boast. So, nothing I could do could ever make me right, only Jesus. He said, “Come as you are, all broken and tore up. He will create in you a new heart. You will be a New Creation. By His stripes I am healed. So, the lives I ruined, the life I took, the pain I caused, is all forgiven. I’ve been married 33 years. I have five children and twelve grandchildren. I am truly blessed… It is the hardest thing you will ever do!! Receiving Christ as Lord and the most rewarding, life changing thing you could do.

 

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Stan Watkins

Well I lived a pretty normal parentless life growing up. Raised by my grandparents from the age of 4 to a freshman in high school. Then raised by my aunt and uncle until graduation. I was in high school that I was first introduced to drugs and it was from there I let them control my life using a regular bases everyday became a norm in my life getting in and out of trouble I wasn’t about to give them up for anything or anybody. Even when I met my wife and she warned me that if I didn’t stop she would not marry me. Well we have been married for 25 years and I still didn’t stop using. For years she did bible studies with the kids always trying to get me to join, but I wasn’t having it. After all that means I would have to change. It wasn’t until 7 years ago I was working with a buddy who kept talking about Jesus with me. Where one day he asked me if I went to church. I explained to him that I felt all they wanted was your money. He then asked if I ever found a church I liked I would I go. I said yes, well about a week later he asked me again. My reply was let me guess your church, so I proceeded to tell him I would go once and after that never bother me again with it.

 Well I’m here to tell you that’s all it takes for GOD to transform you. When I walked through the doors of the church I felt something I had never felt before, the Father’s Love. Well I started going every week, sometimes I would be high and it felt as if God was using the pastor to convict me, because during t the service it seemed as if he was starring right at me when he spoke. With my marriage on the rocks and being a drug addict for 28 years I broke down one day fell to my knees and prayed for God to help me change. Once again I felt his presents simply whispering in my ear. Do you believe in me? Is your faith in me? Then surrender. The next day I woke up not craving drugs GOD had washed me clean. No counseling or therapy just Jesus. There is no other way to explain after 28 years of drugs I no longer needed them, but that God was working in my life. All we have to do is have faith that God is working for our greater good. He only wants the best for us he loves us and I’m living proof that even a filthy dirty rag as myself can be washed as white as snow with the blood of Jesus.

 

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Phillip Sisk

My name is Phillip Sisk. I’ve been raised in church since I was 5 years old. I had a typical childhood growing up, school, sports etc. My parents are Christians so I was always in church. In high school I began to really excelled in baseball. I started hanging with the wrong crowd and started smoking pot, having sex, drinking a lot and getting in fights. But still playing church. Graduated high school and went to the east coast to play baseball. I started partying heavy and only went to church occasionally, to make my mom happy. Got married to my beautiful best friend in 1986, an awesome southern bell, moved back to California in 1988, stopped drinking, pulled my crap together and had 2 beautiful sons. Still played church (never sold out). I was still dancing with the devil. Everything was going great. I was married for 28 years. I was making great money had a great wife and kids when I did the unthinkable, I had a couple of affairs leading to my divorce. I lost everything, wife, kids, house, toys, dog, job, everything. Again started hanging with the wrong crowd. Took a job collecting for a loan shark out of Oakland. I did some unthinkable things. Started hanging with a club there which was all bad news. I was not even thinking of church or God at all just running blind. A whole lot of things happened between then and now. I kind I knew my whole life, that God had a calling for me. I was just turning my back and running from God. But God was not done with me. One night, in Oakland, in a bar I should not have been in, with a club I had no business hanging with, a fight I was involved in spilled into the street. The police showed up and there I was. What had my life come to? The club members I was with were all getting arrested when an officer took me over to his cruiser. He started naming off all the charges he had on me and told me the men I was with were in and out of jail all the time and would be out by morning, but I didn’t look like them. He asked me if I had any weapons, to put them on the hood of his car. I gave him my 45(no seral number), brass knuckles, and a switchblade. He looked at me and said this is your get out of jail free card son. Get on your bike and don’t come back to Oakland. Something in my heart felt funny so I got on my bike, looked over my shoulder and he was gone, just gone. I knew God was in this. On my way home to Turlock I passed a church on 99 with a giant cross out front, and I yelled. “God where are you” and a still small voice said in my ear. I’ve always been here Phil. I pulled my bike over at that church and got on my knees in front of that cross and gave my heart to Jesus, sold out, no more playing Church. Living with guilt for things I have done is over. I am forgiven. Hebrew’s 13:1-5; 1 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. 4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.” God is great and he will never leave or forsake us. All we have to do is call on his name because he is already there.

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Tom Groen’s Testimony – This is HIStory Why am I here? This is the question I asked myself as I was growing up. I knew I was missing the answer. I felt like I was always trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, nothing fit. I was born into a good family. I have two older siblings, a brother and a sister. I always felt like I was being held back. I was a rebel. I craved adventure and excitement. Before I was even 18, I got in trouble at school because I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was partying and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. One day, my friends and I stole some cases of beer from a beer delivery truck and we thought that was so fun. Next time, we stole beer from a store and a policeman started chasing my friend’s ’72 Camaro. We reached speeds of over 100 mph. We outran the policeman until someone in the neighborhood called and told the police where we were hiding. So we got caught and taken to jail. I was only 17, so I got released with no charges. I kept on this destructive course into a life of crime. I bought a ’69 Charger and did a lot of street racing with it. I had the reputation of having the fastest car in the south county. One day, it broke down in San Jose. While I was getting parts, a questionable friend, towed my car and tried to hide it. He was trying to steal my car. When I realized what he was doing I got mad. I went to find him and I had a 357 revolver with me. I was going to let him know that I wasn’t playing games. I was on foot, so it was taking a long time to get across town. As I was walking by an open garage, I noticed a bicycle and I grabbed it. The owner of the bike ran out and tackled me. He and his son struggled to hold me until the police came, meanwhile the shells for the revolver were falling out of my jacket. When the policeman got arrived he noticed the shells and saw me reaching to keep the gun from falling out of my jacket. I’m lucky that he didn’t shoot me. I was 18, so I was arrested and booked into the county jail. I was a lost individual. I had other charges hanging over my head as I went through court, and it looked like I was headed to Calif Youth Authority. We worked out a plea bargain and I was probated to a drug rehab program. I went to the Genesis House in Seaside for one year. The other people in the rehab program, were a terrible influence on me. They were teaching me more about drugs and crime. I began commercial fishing and was out on the ocean a lot. One of the crew members would often talk about God and it got me thinking. The struggle between good and evil continued and my life was falling apart. I had an accident on the boat and cut my arm badly damaging my radial nerve. So I was off work, while it healed. I was sick and tired of living a sinful and selfish life. One day I saw a Christian program called the 700 club. I heard about people being transformed and living new lives. After a weekend of partying, I found a gospel tract in a phone booth (before cell phones). It answered some of the questions that I had, and to this day I still remember the words. It said “ Life is short, Death is sure, Sin is the cause, Christ is the cure” Each title was backed by scriptures. I realized that my life could only change with Christ’s help. The battle for my soul intensified. I was weighed down with guilt and shame. I began to have suicidal thoughts and I wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to go back to the drug infested place where I was living, so I checked into a hotel. I found a Gideon Bible in the nightstand. In the front of the Bible there were scriptures listed about forgiveness. I knew I needed to open up my heart to Jesus. Revelation 3:20 says that He stands at the door of our heart and knocks. If any man hear his voice and open the door, He will come in. Jesus wasn’t going to force his way into my life, I had to open up the door. I called upon the name of the Lord, and he gave me the power to change. I heard about a Teen Challenge program in Salinas called Youth for Truth. I went and met with them. They offered to help me move out of the place where I was living. I moved into a home with other Christian men and was part of a discipleship program. We had a strict schedule of prayer, bible study and helping others. This was the first time in my life that I was giving and helping people instead of living for myself. I found that - Living to Give and Giving to Live - gave me a purpose for living. As I am writing this testimony, it is difficult for me to count how many missions and humanitarian projects I have been involved in. It has been a wonderful adventure! I got married to my wife Aimee in 1988. We have 4 wonderful kids, Rebekah, Tim, Jessica and Viktoria. I am so thankful for God’s goodness in my life!

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Mike Servin

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JESUS CHRIST God bless you. My testimony. I’m 39 years old I’m from Modesto CA. I had a mom and dad growing up my family was pretty decent. But I was being influenced by everything I was watching as a kid like the gang movies and prison movies witch were Bound by honor, American me, Boys in the hood, Menace to society and that’s what I wanted I wanted to be what I was watching so I became this gang member and I became a tagger righting on every wall I could doing vandalism. So growing up I’m this gang member my dad dies if sourness of the liver when I’m seventeen and my friend gets shot and killed when I was about seventeen to by gang violence and wen my friend died it became so real it wasn’t a game trying to become what I felt was kool it became real but Satan had me blind I was fine with that because at that time I was like that’s what we do people die then I go to prison in 1999 for 2an half years me and my brother and a couple friends. I get out July 2 2001 and my brother Pancho gets out about May 25 2001 and on July 27 2001 he got stabbed and killed in the streets but I’m fine with that Satan had me blind had me believing that’s what happens when you live like this so I except it. All that gang violence that’s not what changed me what changed me is when I got so hooked on drugs I started Hearing them and seeing them they were in people the TV radio every were I was at they were there. And I couldn’t be around nobody so I became so alone I didn’t know what it was that was making me feel like this but something had me come to the realization that it was Satan and his army just crushing me. And I couldn’t hear God so I told God I’m so alone I can’t hear you God but you say that you know everything before I’m going to say it so you know that when I call on you I’m going to answer back with my own voice. So one day I yell out as loud as I can JESUS CHRIST I love you God and I answered back for God in my own voice and I LOVE YOU TOO MIKE. And that is how I JESUS CHRIST would talk to God so when people would see me they would say he is going crazy he is talking to himself and even I would feel like Mike you’re going crazy you are out here talking to yourself mike your losing it then I would tell myself NO YOUR NOT TALKING TO GOD. So one day I’m at my house and I’m praying to God in your son’s name JESUS CHRIST Lord Father God encamp me with your angels. This is what came out of my heart my sole my mind and strength. I said WE ARE THE MIGHTY ARCH ANGELS AND GOD HEARS YOU MIKE. That is how I heard them and from that day I knew God was truly hearing me, but Satan kept coming at me with drugs. I’m trying to live for God trying to submit to God telling everybody everything I know about JESUS CHRIST but Couldn’t live for him so one day I got this crystal pipe in my hand and I’m about to hit it and something tells me don’t do it Mike God’s not going to love you anymore and something says yes He is it was the Holy War I was hearing the JESUS CHRIST Archangels of Heaven Fighting with Satan and his army. And then a clear voice came to me and said if you hit that mike I’m still going to love you. God asked me you know what’s so beautiful about me mike I’m like what God is that I love you unconditionally you can hit that I’m still going to love you. And then God said there is no way you can out sin my forgiveness!!!! And knew God was with me some days I wouldn’t want to go no more I just wanted to give but God would be like GET UP I don’t want to GO I would be like why and He would say because JESUS CHRIST loves you that’s why if nobody else loves JESUS CHRIST does so GO. And now because I listened and didn’t give up and kept fallowing the voice of God to the best of my ability. I ended up going back to prison which was a blessing helped me get off drugs and getting out April 16 2017 then my spiritual Father Dirk N. And my Brother Saul S. Got me into a program called teen challenge on April 26 2017 I completed April 26 2018 and now I am JESUS CHRIST An intern/mentor at teen challenge so I work there now. I became a part of this great ministry call Soldiers Of The Cross and just living in the blessing that God has always had for me and that is to tell everyone about the true love of JESUS CHRIST and that if you would just say his name He will turn his head from Heaven and see you and help you. One last thing when God restored everything that the devil had took like my being able to be around people without being paranoid being able to hold conversations having common courtesy just all the basic things you got coming by being a human being just who you are when God restored that it showed just being regular me is a blessing. So just be you and love God. JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Kelly Hays

My name is Kelly Hays I’m 60 years old, I grew up in the bay area with three brothers, I look back now and realize my parents were just doing the best they knew how , my mom is the strength of the family while my dad worked .During those days that was the role of the father to work and the mother took care of everything else ,unfortunately my dad passed away when he was 45 years old of a heart attack which left a 10 a 12 a 14 and 16-year-old for my mom to continue raising. I grew up playing baseball in little league and loved doing it and was good. There seem to always be something missing when I wasn’t playing ball or just out playing with my friends or brothers, the first time I was exposed to drugs I was in the six grade I walked in to my friend’s house look down the hall into the bedroom and saw his older brother shooting up heroin. I remember his brother was a star football player in high school and was impressed by the size of his arms as he was sticking a needle into it, I remember thinking how bad can drugs be, about an hour later they came out and handed me and my friend a match box that was full of weed and some downers ,at the time we called them reds , that was the beginning of a 40 plus year cycle of doing drugs and getting high using any means possible ,usually on a daily basis, of course my interest in sports dropped by the waist side , so along with drugs I developed a strong interest in girls and by the age of 15 I was expecting my first son, I was a child having children, as I look back and go over the amount of drugs that I used I realize I had just about tried everything from smoking weed to mainlining cocaine and doing heroin, spent weeks on LSD, and phased through usage of PCP ,crank and various other drugs that were available during the 70s and 80s and 90s , I remember one time when I was shooting up cocaine in the garage and my three little children are sitting in the front room waiting for their mother to get home from the grocery store I had realized I had shot up too much cocaine when I started dry heaving and felt like my heart was going to explode, within a few minutes I realize I wasn’t going to die looked at my watch realize I had some time left and started fixing up my next shot of Coke . I was so heavy into mainlining drugs that I had collapsed my main veins in my arms and started shooting up in my neck and four head and anywhere else I could find a large enough vain, I’m not glorifying this behavior I’m just letting you know how deeply rooted the devil was in my life, I was married three times to three good woman ,I wish I could say different but those failed marriages were all my fault ,there were kids involved and people were hurt by my foolish selfish behavior my indulgence of drugs and chasing women, because you see while doing drugs and chasing women there was always that high ,that temporary high that would fill that emptiness but as soon as I became straight and the women were gone the minutes seem like hours and the emptiness would get deeper and darker till I came to a point where I felt I could no longer see light at the top of the pit that I had dug myself into ,I could only feel the roots along the wall of the dark hole that I was living in ,I finally realized that the most important things in my life I had failed at, even though I had gone through the United States Marine Corps ,did very well at various jobs and always had worked and provided for my family I was just the shell of a man ,so much was missing from my character , I finally came to terms with the thought that I have lived long enough ,56 years and I really had no love that I earned from anybody to show for it ,I decided to call it and I made my plans to end my life ,Knew how And where I was going to do it, I even put my son on my bank account and told him where I had stashed my money just in case anything ever happened to me, he had no idea what I was planning, a few nights later he asked me to come to a men’s meeting at a church called The House Modesto , it was a place where hundreds of men got together and worshiped, they shared their stories, the program they put on that night I felt It had been geared especially for me I even thought maybe my son had talked to somebody and knew what I was going through, that’s just how God works I realize, that night after the program was over my son asked me to come meet somebody by the name of Pastor Doug ,I realized that this person obviously was important to my son so I figured I would give him the respect and go meet him ,within a few moments of talking to him I realize something more powerful was at work, you see I have never been a man of faith ever in my life ,it just was never a part of our household but that night when Pastor Doug informed me that all I had to do was ask Jesus to come into my life, that it wasn’t a complicated process, The moment I invited Jesus into my life I literally felt a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders as though everything I had done throughout my life and failed at was now being lifted off of me ,it was something I knew was real, it was something that I felt I could almost put my hands on, I know I brought my son into this world but my son actually saved my life in more than one way ,I don’t think there are many men who can say that and I’m very proud that I can .since that day I’ve come to know many ,many strong men of Jesus, in particular the men of the motorcycle ministry Soldiers of the Cross , I realize now what it really means to serve Jesus it’s a feeling that you just can’t put into words ,that you receive from doing so ,and you soon find out that you can never out give God ,over and over throughout my life I have been blessed ,that he was always there just waiting for that invitation, I realize that I had to go through 50+ years of abusing life in every way I could in order for God to work his plan on me and for me to see what value I really had in his eyes , I look around at and listen to some men that can really lay some prayer down , I feel blessed to be part of these men and they all will tell you the same thing , it’s all about your personal relationship with Jesus that gives you the strength and faith to keep moving forward and spreading his word, it’s not complicated, make the move so God can move in your life

 

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Gary Borque’s Testimony

Before following Christ, the thought of Him was something I rarely thought of much less thinking I may one day be forever changed by His abounding grace. See I was never one to really give anything or anyone a chance into my life fully. I always had a plan to get over on someone or to satisfy my own needs. I could say that me being extremely selfish and eventually becoming addicted to hard core drugs and pornography came from a tragedy in my life. Although my fiancé at the time passed away from a rare disease, God had a plan. For every bad choice I made, there is also a right and good choice. I made bad decisions and blamed everyone and everything around me. These choices eventually led me to a full -time life of crime and drug use.

I never thought I would spend time behind bars, yet that is where I was headed. While I was lost in sin, God began calling out to me. I never chose to heed to His call. This rebellion continued well into my new life and marriage. By my own doing, we suffered an enormous amount of hate and disconnect, which eventually led to infidelity. This is where my life was about to change. I had a son and one on the way, my marriage was failing, I was full of hate, and I was getting to a place where I was sick of carrying around what so often felt like a dead coffin everywhere. Soon after this, I found myself all alone without my wife at a drug recovery ministry contemplating finally giving my all to the Lord or to continue in my ways, as usual and get high with the drugs I had on me at the time. But this wasn’t no ordinary day. That night it was truly a battle to get me to this recovery class. It was literally a tug of war in the spiritual realm. That night, the evil in me was telling me that I would never have a changed life. That I would always be a failure. But at the same time, the Holy Spirit was saying “just surrender and my grace will empower you to fully serve me.” Well, given my past, serving evil always went south and always had me in deep, dark places. The thought of a refreshed life and the promises of God were infiltrating my mind and spirit in a way that I had never experienced before. I remember the Lord saying, “I will meet you in your need. I will fill you when you’re empty. If you give me your life, I’ll spend eternity with you.” I can tell you that after years of crime and daily drug use, I left that night a new creation. Hallelujah!! There were many times where I only fooled myself and those around me of the change that I always promised. But now it was like never before. I suddenly had power of my sin. I can proudly boast in the Lord that four years ago, was the last time that I struggled with pornography, drugs, depressions, lust, hate, everything. I woke up the next morning and never had any urges again. You see scripture says in Jeremiah 29:12-13 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” That night, my heart was broken, but over time Christ began to pick up the pieces the more I trusted in Him. I” now have a thriving relationship with my wife, a thriving career, three beautiful children that I have the privilege to father, and a band of brothers called Soldiers of the Cross. I am honored to serve our Father and to further His kingdom in any capacity that I can. This is all because of the blood of Jesus and the mercy He had towards me. SOTC Chaplain- Gary Borque

 

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Billy Vaughn Testimony

I was raised in East Stockton and I was raised very poor. I was the 6th of six kids and I started using drugs at a very early age started smoking weed at the age 13. I smoked and smoked and smoked until I found a new drug and I loved the feeling of being out of my mind I started taking pills, I loved the feeling that drugs done to me as I was growing in my teenage years. I became a kleptomaniac and I would steal anything I could to get my hands on, including cars and bikes or anything else. I was robbing houses and stores taking whatever I could to supply my habit. After I turned 14 I got arrested and locked up for a while then came home and tried some meth it was a new kind of high that took me to a new state of mind and I didn't care about anything or anybody all I wanted was more, more, and more.

 I started shooting Meth at the age of 15 and I continued to shoot dope for 20 years it's like I went to a party when I was 15 and I didn't get home till I was 35. I treated my body like a garbage can I went to jail multiple times. I went to prison and I went to drug program after program I just couldn't get it together until I was totally broken, then I lost my dad and my whole life fell apart. At this point in my life something changed and I knew I no longer had the feeling I had when I got loaded, the high wasn't the same so I made the decision to stay clean and started going to recovery meetings on my own. I found a new high of being clean and sober, it didn't take too long and soon I had six months of sobriety under my belt for first time in my life. I felt good about myself after being sober and clean for a few months and I started going to church and I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ and soon after I joined SOTC. My faith in God has gotten stronger and stronger and today I live a life that is full of Christ, I am not all well and wonderful but I know as long as I surrender to my savior that my life and others around me will be better. John 10:10 says the Devil comes to steal kill and destroy and he robbed me of 20 years of my life. Today I am grateful to be a proud member of Soldiers Of The Cross and bloodborne child of God. He has made me a good dad, husband, brother and a son and I thank Jesus for all this

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Anthony Ruiz

Hello my name is Anthony Ruiz and I'm a bold believer in Jesus Christ who is not ashamed of the gospel. There was a time in my life where I couldn't have spoken those words. See I was ashamed to say I believed in God and that Jesus died for my sins. I was born in Gilroy California and grew up the first 10 years of my life a good kid I guess you can call it. I was involved in sports and did what a normal kid would do. My parents raised me up with a great upbringing as much as they could. My dad worked hard all his life to support me and my siblings. He was in my life but with work and all the stress of it he was there physically but emotionally he wasn't. He drank and did drugs but kept it from me at least until I was old enough to figure out what he was doing. When I got into Jr high it all changed smoking weed, drinking, chasing girls, and living the gang lifestyle. Doing what I thought a normal teenager did at least the way the world will portray it.

See I didn't think the partying and the gangs and girls would get me in trouble. All through high school I stopped playing sports and starting to play that street life. By the time I was a sophomore in high school I experimented with as much drugs I can get a hold of. Started to live the gangster lifestyle I was the person who wanted to give my whole life to the gang put it before my family and especially God. See what's wrong with the world is a sin problem. Sin has impacted our lives so much that we are so blind to what is really right. See I had no control of my life sin had all control. I got heavy into meth usage and was having suicidal thoughts. I had a rope around my neck everyday like it was a chain. Hanging from a tree twice and so paranoid from meth I thought everyone was after me. I kept trying and trying to change but it was on my own will power. Relapse was a part of my recovery until I let Jesus take it all. I fully submitted and surrendered my life to Jesus and as soon as I did that all hell broke loose to get me back. I was stabbed, my dad got really sick just trial after trial. But I didn't let the enemy distract me I prayed to the Lord daily to guide me through the trials. The biggest lost I think is when my dad past away New Year's Eve 2017. It hurts me but my dad gave his life to the Lord in the early 2000s and he fought his fight and ran his race it's just a temporary separation until I see him again. Now I'm running the race and fighting the fight. I am now clean from all drugs and alcohol not living for the gangs but living for Christ. I'm part of a great Ministry called soldiers of the cross and I won't ever look back I must keep my armor of God on daily ready for battle.

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Bob Hufford Testimony

I was saved (accepted Jesus as my personal savior as a child after my grandmother passed away). I have always believed in consequences for sin. As a child, I went to church and Sunday school on my own as my folks didn't have time for it. They didn't mind me going either, got them off the hook for teaching morals, I think. In high school I became associated with drugs, alcohol and sex (usually together) and any way to obtain drugs, alcohol and sex. I like to say that at age 13 I snuck into the liquor cabinet and didn't come out until I was 34.

 Although I did relatively well in high school, I spent a lot of my time working to get money to fill my desires of sex, drugs and alcohol. I bought my first motorcycle when I was 14 because: 1. I liked to live dangerously (I thought I was invincible), 2. Chicks liked bikes (or guys with bikes), 3. Easier to get away to acquire or use drugs/alcohol. I enlisted in the Air Force not long after graduation to escape the mess I had been making throughout high school due to drugs, alcohol and sex (generally partying when not working). Then the real debauchery began. Booze was cheap and legal and women were just as eager for sex, especially if you had a job, a car and a motorcycle! *****Okay - time to stop glamorizing . . . because every time I got loaded I didn't end up in the emergency room or police station but every time I ended up in an emergency room or police station I was loaded.***** After four years of partying while "serving my country", I was discharged from the Air Force and went to college to major in advanced partying . . . I was usually loaded in class as well as out of class but not at work (yes, I worked because crime didn't suit me . . . still believed in consequences for sinning but didn't consider womanizing and partying a sin, yet). I got a job, got married, had kids. But partying was beginning to wear on my conscience. At about age 30 this conscience thing really began to bother me so, like any self-absorbed pseudo-intellectual, I set out to disprove God's existence to ease my conscience and justify my desire to use drugs and alcohol. Here I must add that I knew wanton sex was morally wrong but alcohol blocked all my inhibitions (wink, wink). So I started researching literature on all the world's wisdoms, religions (ancient and new age), philosophies, atheism, you name it . . . but when I came to the same conclusion over and over that some "grand designer" existed, God said, "Bob, check this out." It was as if God Himself was leading me through the process of elimination of escaping His truth and existence! I stepped into the halls of AA in 1988, made a conscious decision (commitment) to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understood Him - believe me, by now I was really beginning to understand Him, His love and His plan for me and His children - and my life has been one exhilarating experience ever since. After I quit drinking I had one "slip" at nine and a half years of sobriety, but that is a story in itself. After this one drink (I chugged a fifth of Stoly) is when I finally got real with my Savior, Jesus Christ! Since then I have suited up in the full armor of God and associated with like-minded men ready for the real battle. Thank You Lord Jesus for eyes that see, ears that hear and a heart that longs for You.

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Ed Moreno

Growing up I didn't have a good childhood. My mother was a hardworking single mother. She brought me to the states when I was 12 years old. By the age of 14 I started hanging around with the wrong crowd and ended up in juvenile hall for stealing cars. From : there they sent me to a youth camp. I was rebellious and did not fall in line so I got sent up to California Youth Authority. I did my time and after being released and sent back home I went right back to same bad crowd. I started drinking and smoking weed. By the age of 16 I was already doing cocaine. I met my wife and we had our first kid. There is about 10 years of my life that I don't even remember because I was living the fast life. In and out of jail, partying, by this time I was already addicted to meth. I thought it was all under control until we ended up evicted from our house and homeless.

 Living in a hotel with two kids and one on the way is not living! I knew the Lord for many years. The hotel restroom was where I would pray and ask God to take care of us. Even though I was going through all these things he was always there for us. In my heart I felt that we needed to get out of the area start fresh somewhere else. I called my family member in Modesto and I asked If she would take us in to start a new life in Modesto. By the grace of God she said yes. We put our stuff in a truck and started driving up to Modesto. The enemy tried to stop us of course. As we're driving the truck broke down and we had to go back. We left are truck in San Fernando and jumped on the Greyhound with our kids car seats backpacks and finally landed in Modesto. This was about 11 years ago. I got a job, found a place for the family and I was clean and sober. This lasted only for a couple of years. I started using again. I start going back to the old ways. Now that I'm writing this, I Came to understand that I wasn't delivered yet because I was trying to do it on my own. When you have a problem, addiction, pain, you need God in the Mix of everything that you do in your life. 5 years ago, I walked into a church and Surrenderd! I cried out God at the altar deliver me! Set me free! Break these chains! I promised to serve God, love and worship our Lord for the rest of my life. I walked out of church that day a different man. I felt inside that he restored the man that I am supposed to be. Addiction is no more and my family is restored. I could say that now I'm a better person because of My Lord and savior, my Redeemer. He came and told me that I was somebody. He fixed my life, my family, and blessed us with a home. I would like to say that if you're going through something in your life give it all to God don't try to fix it yourself because we are nothing without God.al the glory belongs to him because by his grace we have life today thank you Jesus.

 

 

 

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