The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

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Al Aceves: Hard Core No More

By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club

CBN.comAlfonso Aceves was only a teenager and was addicted to violence. 

“I was already like 18, 19. I was committing crimes, selling drugs. It was like excitement,” Al said. “You wanted to do it. You had to do it. And then when you did it, you were glad you did it; even if you came out hurt. Then, all of a sudden the Vietnam War came.”

Al served two tours in Vietnam as a member of the 101st Airborne. When his time in the army was up, he was at loose ends.

“I thought to myself, ‘what am I going to do?’ I was coming home on the plane and I said, ‘man, I’ll go to college, try to change my life.’ That didn’t happen,” Al said. 

After several run-ins with the law, he and some friends started a motorcycle club called the Mongols. 

“When we started the Mongols there were 10 of us. Everywhere we went somebody would want to test us and we’d fight. And, little by little we started growing; growing more chapters until I was getting kind of like famous in there for all the fights that I had - all the things I would do to people,” Al said.

“Big Al was a sergeant-at-arms. He was what I call a war lord,” said Andy Holguin, who used to ride with Al. “Whenever we needed something taken care of, Al was the guy that we looked to.”

“We thought we were living a dream, all these things we were doing, and everybody was so afraid they would never say anything,” Al said. “I picked up the gun and I ended up going and doing things for other people that, if you owed money, I’d go collect.” 

Al made countless enemies, and eventually became addicted to heroin. Even so, he married Lorraine.

“I had six kids, and he married me with these six kids,” Lorraine said. “And he said, ‘don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of the kids; I’ll support you. Everything will be all right.’” 

Al’s heroin addiction got worse. He needed money for drugs, so he started taking on bigger jobs.

“I needed drugs, so I needed to do things. I would take whatever I could get,” Al said.  “They would say, ‘can you bomb this place?’ and I’d give them a price.” 

“I was always worried, always fearful that he’d get in trouble or die,” Lorraine said, “because he’d go all over, Mexico, everywhere. And I used to say, ‘oh, is he going to come home? Are they going to give me a phone call and he’s dead?’” 

When the money ran out, Al and his family needed a place to stay. So a family took them into their home. But they had one stipulation.

“He says, ‘there’s only one thing, we’re going to read a scripture every day when I come home.’ I didn’t know what a scripture was,” Al said.

But as Al reluctantly studied the Bible, his curiosity began to grow.

“One day he brings another guy. Then the guy started talking to me about salvation,” Al said. “He says, ‘you know, wouldn’t you like to be saved? Wouldn’t you like your sins to be forgiven?’ And I looked at him, I told him, ‘man, you don’t know who you’re talking to.’ Do you know what I mean? The things I’ve done. And he told me, ‘no, God died on the cross for you.’ So, I accepted the Lord. But I was still hooked.”

But turning his life around wasn’t so easy. He was eventually locked up for planning a bomb attack.

“When he came out, we went to meet him at the airport, my family and I, and I was scared, fearful.  I didn’t know which way he was going to go,” Lorraine said. “When he came home, it was a little rough at first, but he just said, ‘we’re going to church. We’re going back to church. I don’t want to leave God anymore. I want to stay with him.’”

Al moved into a Christian men’s home and kicked his drug habit.

“I was kicking heroin. God was so good that He gave me the strength to stay, because I wanted to run,” Al said. “But when I started falling down on the ground, having convulsions, God was good. I stayed; I kicked it.”

The change in Al is evident to everyone around him, especially to Andy, his friend from the Mongol days. Andy, too, became a Christian.

“That’s been the awesome thing to see - the transformation,” Andy said. “Because he was always a big, rugged, hard-core guy, and now the tone of his voice has changed. He’s a very compassionate person, very sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to the needs of people.”

“I’m proud of the strength in him that he stood up and said, ‘I’ll follow you, Lord.’ Oh, I know it was hard because of his background and all that he’s been through,” Lorraine said. “And then, being a dad, raising my kids. I’m proud of him.”

“Death called on me a lot,” Al said. “People have tried to kill me forever; but God had a plan in my life.”

“No matter what kind of biker you are, no matter what club you’re in, no matter what situation you’re in, God can take you out of it. My life has changed just because of Christ,” Al said, “not because of any drug, not because of any program, no doctor, no psychiatrist. God has changed my life completely from the person I was to who I am now.”

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