Ramon Luna: The Truth Set Him Free
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
Ramon Luna grew up in the border town of Juarez, Mexico. Drug wars and family rivalries claimed the lives of many of Ramon’s family members, including his brother.
“I was always around that violence,” Ramon tells The 700 Club. “I was used to a lot of family members dying and a lot of gang violence also.”
When he was 12, his father moved the family to Washington State to escape the violence, but the hatred towards his brother’s killer stayed with Ramon.
“This hate was so immense that I was actually planning on how I was going to get rid of this guy,” he says.
That hatred fueled Ramon’s rage. He became known on the streets as a vicious fighter.
“That’s why they jumped me into this gang. I used to get into a lot of fights. I used to go out and steal stereos. I did it just for the rush ‘cause I loved that adrenalin you get.”
By the time he was 20, he had committed crimes worthy of long jail times. But it was a crime that he didn’t commit that landed him in jail. He had stopped by a party to pick up his nephew one night. The next day as he waited in the hospital for tests, he noticed a girl glaring at him.
“She went running to one of the nurses, and before I knew it, these two officers show up. They didn’t ask me any questions. They just said, ‘Hey, you’re under arrest for rape. You’re under arrest for first degree burglary and kidnapping.’”
The girl recognized Ramon from the party and included him in her allegations of rape. Ramon faced the possibility of 30 years in prison. For weeks, he waited in jail for his trial, as he became more desperate, he turned to God.
“My eyes just started getting watery ‘cause I prayed, ‘How come I’m going through this? Just help me. If You’re really real, just be here.’”
A street preacher came to visit him. Ramon had made fun of this evangelist and his Christian faith for years. He recalls, “When I saw Chris, I just started pouring tears and I told him I was sorry.” Ramon met with Chris and Bob, the jail chaplain, for prayer and Bible study.
“We just read what Jesus says in Luke 6 about, if you want to be children of the Most High, forgive your enemies and pray for them,” Chris says.
Ramon continues, “They invited me to forgive this girl that was accusing me. I hated this girl. I didn’t know her, but I hated her. I closed my eyes. I knew God was right there, and I was trying to hear Him. He said to me, ‘I want you to forgive the guy that killed your brother.’”
Ramon let go of his hate and forgave his accuser and his brother’s killer. “I knew God was real when I forgave the guy who killed my brother, ‘cause the total hate went away completely. Chris and Bob just looked at me like, ‘This guy’s really hearing from God.’ That’s more hardcore than forgiving this girl, so I forgave them both. I asked God to forgive my sins and that I give Him my life. I finally found out that I am a child of God.”
The next day Ramon had a surprise visit from his lawyer. “He said, ‘I have good news. This girl showed up this morning, and she turned a letter in saying that everything was a lie.’ I had no doubt in my mind that God was there with me, I could feel it. I could feel this warmness, and I wasn’t afraid anymore. The fear was gone, and God’s presence was so strong,” Ramon says.
“There is power to transform our enemies when we pray for them,” Chris agrees. “It’s not just being weak, just being a pushover and letting terrorists run the show. When we pray for our enemies, there’s a power unleashed there.”
Ramon agrees, “It’s the power of, when you actually decide to forgive someone, how your whole way of thinking totally changes.”
It wasn’t long before the judge threw out the case against him and Ramon was set free.
“Ramon was like, ‘God did this everyone. God did this,’” says Chris.
Ramon is telling others, especially the gang members he ran with, how God changed his life and that He can change their lives, too.
Chris says, “Gangsters come right into God’s presence, and when they encounter this love of the God who pours out His presence on them, that’s what transforms them.”
“I don’t care who you are, where you come from, or how you lived your life. Your life is so important,” Ramon says, “and God knows every second of your life. If my son comes and asks me to forgive him, I know I will forgive him no matter what he’s done, because I’ve known him since he was a child. God knows us that way. It’s like the more time you spend with God, the more you become like Him. When He sees us, He doesn’t see us the way we see ourselves or the way others see us, but the way He created us to be.”
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