Images compliments of Jim Whitmer
Manny Mill's Confession to God and the FBI
By Amy Reid
The 700 Club
Manny Mill was only 3-years-old when Castro came into power in Cuba. His family lost everything under the Communist government and eventually fled to America. His mother was Roman Catholic, but she was also involved in a cult called Santeria.
In the words of Manny Mill:
“My mother was a witch, to put it plainly. In Cuba, in the Roman Catholic Church, many of the statues that they had - the Cuban people took in the wrong way, and they were worshiping the idols or the statues; and they didn’t really know how to worship God. So, she was a medium to all these demons that went through her.”
Then one of the other mediums in the cult became a Christian.
“She began to witness to my mother. After a while, my mother said, ‘OK, I’m going to go with you to church.’ And she heard the gospel message; that Jesus died for her sins. She asked God to forgive her. That night, she got home and she cleansed the house. Everything was broken; everything was dumped.”
Manny’s mother prayed for everyone in her family to become Christians. None were very receptive.
“I thought that my mother was nuts, you know, because I was under the false impression that if there was a God, I was it.”
Manny married and had kids, but he wasn’t exactly a family man.
“I was a womanizer. I was the mayor’s aide for the city of Union City, New Jersy. I was one of the top salesmen for the company called Prudential. I used to run Latin shows and Latin cruises. I had four cars. I had a hundred suits. I was a great dancer. I even had hair at that time. So, I wanted them all: I wanted the sex, I wanted the power and I wanted the money, you know? Somebody came to me with this scheme, this deal. And it looked easy for me. My only job was to find the banker who will allow me have a checking account and to deposit the money there. I thought that I had committed the perfect crime.”
Manny’s “perfect crime” turned out not to be so perfect.
“The FBI went to the bank to investigate. The person that was not supposed to talk, talked. So, they began to look for me. And I didn’t want to meet with them, so I began to run.”
Manny packed up his son and pregnant wife and told them they were going on a vacation.
“I began to go from country to country, and finally I went to Venezuela.”
Manny opened a Cuban restaurant. Nearly two years later, he got a phone call from his father.
“He said, ‘Manilito, the FBI came to see me and I know why you are there. You are there because you stole money.’ And he said, ‘Let me ask you a question. If I die tonight, could you come to my wake? Could you come to my funeral?’”
“When I began to just picture the fact that I couldn’t see my father in a casket, you know, I began to weep. But, my mother was on the other phone and she began to give me the gospel. ‘Manilito, you have sinned against a Holy God. He loves you. He wants to forgive you; but you need to repent from your sins.’ And she gave me the whole package of the gospel.”
“And when she did that, it’s like the Holy Spirit used those words from God’s Word and awakened me. Now I was able to see my sin; I was able to see this Holy God. I realized that I was a sinner, and apart from Jesus I cannot make it. I repented. And, my father and I became Christians at the same time.”
Manny’s mother had one more question.
“My mother asked me, ‘Manilito, when are you going to come back?’ I was so naïve, and I was so new, I said that was not part of the deal, you know? So she gave me my first Biblical verse, Hebrews 13:5. She said, ‘Manilito, God’s Word says that God promised that He would be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.’ That verse gave me a glint of courage to come back and face the music.”
“Within two weeks, I left everything behind: restaurant, everything. And, I turned myself in. The FBI was waiting for me. They met me at the gate.”
Manny was arrested and pled guilty to charges of Interstate transportation of forged checks. He was sentenced to three years in prison out of a possible fifty-five.
“I went to prison for almost two years. While I was there, God shaped me and used me in a powerful way. I became a leader within the church inside.”
It was also a time of struggle. While he was in prison his wife divorced him; but Manny hung on to the promise of a bright future. Then he heard about a new scholarship program at Wheaton College for former inmates.
“However, you had to be out. But I was still locked up, and I still had many months to do.”
Manny filled out the application anyway. He was surprised when he was released from prison early, and in time to start his first semester at Wheaton. Manny spent his last semester studying in Jerusalem.
“God did a miracle there. The fact is, that they allowed me to go on this trip on parole; and on the last day of my federal parole, I met Barbara.”
Manny and Barbara have been married nearly twenty years. Manny is an ordained minister and Executive Director of Koinonia House, a ministry to Christian inmates on their release from prison.
“God used what I used for evil to make it now for His glory. The Bible says, ‘to whom much is given, much is required,’ so we want to make our lives count everyday, not for ourselves, but for the glory of God.”Can God change your life?
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