My New Life Story

March 27 2008 / ShareHim in Dominican Republic A, Mar. 14 - Mar. 29 '08 #262
by Ryan Ruiz

Personal Testimony of Ryan Ruiz.

Hello, my name is Ryan Ruiz. I am 19 years old; I am a senior at Westwood High. I am the oldest of four boys, and I live in a family of six. I was born into an Adventist family, and grew up in the church. Every Saturday I would wake up and attend church with my parents. I would go to my Sabbath School class and talk, and sing songs, and just enjoy life. Then after church I’d return to our apartments and then the battle was on. The complex that I lived in was shared by some dangerous people—gangbangers and ex-convicts. Just about every day, I was insulted, jumped, or attacked by my childhood tormentor.

But this story isn’t about those people; it’s about me. Even though I was an avid attending member of the church, I was still beaten up, brought down, and insulted on a daily basis. Even at the Adventist private school, I was teased, insulted, and beaten daily. But like my coach says, “Ruiz…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” So I grew strong, but I grew to hate God because I felt that he didn’t care about me because EVERY DAY I was beaten up and made fun of. I was attacked all the way up until about the age of 13, and then it was my turn to fight back
I didn’t want be beaten up anymore, so at the age of 10, I joined The Blue Diablos, a street gang that promised me protection. My first action of business was to seek revenge on those who had wronged me. So, I had one guy in particular, Douggie; I remember one day I was playing basketball, and because I didn’t want to play with him, he got a bat from his house and beat me across the back of the head with it. So, I had my “Brothers” break a couple of his bones. That was the last I saw of him. I recently heard that he (Douggie) is now dead; he was shot. He would be about 24 years old today.

So I felt because God had turned his back on me, I was going to turn mine on Him. I felt that way all the way up until about the age of 17. It was just recently that I’ve been getting active in the church again. Even recently, I’ve been faced with temptations—girls, parties, sex, alcohol, and drugs. I’ve been tempted with all of these things, but with God’s help, I’ve managed to be victorious.

I moved to Arizona about two years ago, where I’ve been attending the Mesa Palms Seventh-day Adventist church. I’ve been pretty active in the church there. So, when my Pastor Terry Darnell heard about the trip, he recommended me.

When they told me, I was so excited! I will honestly say that, at first, I didn’t come here for the opportunity to spread the word, but rather to go to another country, see new people, and have FUN!!! The first night I was here, I realized that there was some kind of plan set out for me. I knew that, although I came here for my own personal reasons, God had a plan.

Around the 25th, I was preaching on the topic of hell. I was revealing the truth about hell and debunking the misconceptions that many have about hell. Well, I guess Satan didn’t like what I was preaching, so he did everything in his power to try and stop me, but God was on my side!

Let me share with you a couple of the things that happened that night: When I arrived the electricity was off, but hat was no problem because they have a generator. But when they started the generator it blew up and spit out the engine through the back, and it flew and hit a fence. I had charged my new laptop before going but now it only had 20% battery even though, when I left, it had 100%. So, without slides, but with my laptop running and with a few candles in the church, I preached that night on the topic of “Who Framed God” (hell). For the first time, I personalized the appeal more than I ever had done before. I put my heart out there, and people were touched and really responded. Some were even crying. It totally changed my outlook on everything. I consider myself a different person now. I went in there expecting just another sermon, but the devil was trying to stop me the whole time. He ruined the generator and tried to make my computer go dead, but it kept going the whole time on 20% battery. I know lives were changed that night, including mine. And what was weird was, after I was done shaking everyone’s hand, I turned around to go back into the church and the second my foot hit entered the church, the electricity came back on. The devil lost that night and God won! Because, no matter what the devil did, God only made me stronger.
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