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The Hopelessness of Gabriel's Gangland

Gabriel Makinano's dysfunctional childhood ushered him into a life of sin. Gangs, crime and prison summed up his life, but God was ready to redeem. Read Transcript


MY MOM WOULD TELL ME SHE

LOVED ME, AND THE NEXT

MINUTE SHE WOULD BEAT ME

OVER THE HEAD WITH A

BAMBOO -- ONE OF MY DAD'S

KARATE STICKS.

I FELT LIKE IF THAT WAS LOVE

WAS ALL ABOUT, I REALLY

DIDN'T WANT NO PART OF IT.

Reporter: BOTH OF

GABRIEL'S PARENTS WERE

ALCOHOLICS, AND THEY BOTH

ABUSED HIM THROUGHOUT HIS

CHILDHOOD.

IT WAS LIKE CHAOS INSIDE

THAT HOUSE.

WHEN THEY WOULD LEAVE AND

LEAVE US IN THE HOUSE, I

WOULD PRAY THAT THEY WOULD

NEVER COME BACK.

Reporter: GABRIEL

STARTED DRINKING WHEN HE WAS

ONLY 7 YEARS OLD, AND HE

STARTED MOKIN SMOKING

MARIJUANA WHEN HE WAS 8.

ONCE IT GOT INTO MY BODY

AND MY SYSTEM, IT WAS LIKE I

STEPPED OUT OF REALITY AND

INTO MY OWN WORLD.

Reporter: WHEN HE GOT

OLDER, GABRIEL ESCAPED HIS

VOLATILE HOME FOR A MORE

DANGEROUS PLACE, A GANG.

AND GABRIEL LOVED TO FIGHT.

I GOT MORE PRAISE AT

BEATING PEOPLE UP WHEN I GOT

HOME THAT IT FELT GOOD.

I WOULD GO GET DRUNK, AND WE

WOULD ENT UP IN A FIGHT.

SO MY FRIENDS WERE ALWAYS,

LET'S GO OUT.

WE'RE GOING TO GO WHEREVER,

AND EVERY TIME WE WOULD GO

OUT, WE WOULD END UP IN A

FIGHT.

Reporter: HE WAS SOON

SELLING DRUGS, AND GABRIEL

GOT ADDICTED TO COCAINE AND

METH.

DRUG ABUSE, D.U.I.s,

BURGLARY AND VANDALISM

BECAME A LIFE FOR GABRIEL.

HE WAS IN AND OUT OF JAIL

FOR 12 YEARS.

WHEN I WAS RUNNING THE

STREETS, IF I BEAT UP ONE OF

MY FRIENDS, IT WAS BECAUSE I

LOVED YOU.

I HAD A TWISTED WAY WHAT

LOVE WAS ALL ABOUTMENT.

Reporter: GABRIEL MET

KIM IN 1993, AND THEY

MARRIED A FEW YEARS LATER.

THEY HAD TWO SONS, BUT

GABRIEL'S KIDS WERE AFRAID

OF HIM.

WHAT HURT ME THE MOST WAS

MY KIDS DIDN'T WANT TO GET

IN THE CAR WITH ME AND GO

ANYWHERE BECAUSE THEY KNEW

DAD WAS ALWAYS IN TROUBLE.

AND WHEN WE GOT PULLED OVER,

THAT DAD WENT IN THE POLICE

CAR AND THEY WENT SOMEWHERE

ELSE.

Reporter: GABRIEL GOT

IN A BRUTAL FIGHT WITH HIS

BROTHER, WHO WAS ALSO ON

DRUGS AND DRINKING.

HIS BROTHER ENDED UP IN THE

HOSPITAL.

MY BROTHERS AND SISTER

AND MY MOM ENDED UP GOING

THERE TO GO SEE HIM, AND HE

WAS PRETTY BANGED UP.

THEY WERE CALLING ME FROM

OVER THERE AND ASKING ME HOW

I COULD DO SOMETHING LIKE

THAT.

AND I SAID, MAN, YOU GUYS

DON'T KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN

THROUGH MY WHOLE LIFE.

AND I HAD TO DEAL WITH HIM.

AND TO THINK THAT AFTER

THIS, THAT HE MIGHT WANT TO

COME BACK AND WHOOP ON ME

AGAIN, AND I WASN'T GOING TO

HAVE IT.

I WENT TO THE GOLF COURSE

OUT HERE.

THERE WAS A LITTLE SPOT

WHERE THERE WAS A DIRTY

AREA, WITH SOME TREES, WHERE

NO ONE COULD SEE ME WHEN I

WAS THERE.

I JUST GOT DONE SMOKING SOME

METH, AND I PUT MY GUN IN MY

MOUTH, AND IT DIDN'T GO

OFF.

AND I WAS MAD.

Reporter: AFTER A

FAILED SUICIDE ATTEMPT,

GABRIEL WENT BACK TO HIS OLD

WAYS: DRUGS, VIOLENCE, AND

JAIL.

I WAS IN THE CELL BY

MYSELF, AND I WAS SO MAD AT

GOD.

I CURSED AT HIM AND I SAID

YOU AIN'T NOTHING.

YOU'RE NOBODY.

I GOT TO A POINT WHERE I WAS

DONE, AND I FELT HIS

PRESENCE IN MY ROOM, MY

CELL.

AND I KID YOU NOT, HE WAS

LIKE THIS, E, IN MY ROOM,

AND HE ASKED ME IF I WAS

FINISHED.

AND I TOOK A BIG BREATH.

I SAID, I'M DONE.

BUT YOU'VE GOT TO SHOW ME

THAT YOU'RE REAL.

BECAUSE I KEEP GOING BACK TO

THE SAME THINGS AND YOU'RE

NOT SHOWING ME NOTHING.

Reporter: AFTER HIS

RELEASE, GABRIEL WENT TO A

MEETING.

I WENT AND RAISED MY HAND

AND SAID I NEED HELP.

BECAUSE IF I DON'T GET HELP

TODAY, I'M GOING TO LEAVE

THIS ROOM AND DO SOMETHING

STUPID.

Reporter: A FRIEND

HELPED HIM GET ON THE RIGHT

TRACK.

THIS GUY TOOK ME UNDER

HIS WING AND STARTED SHOWING

ME WHAT LIFE COULD BE LIKE

AND WHO GOD WAS.

Reporter: GABRIEL'S

SEARCH CONTINUED UNTIL THE

DAY HE WAS FLIPPING THROUGH

THE CHANNELS, WATCHING TV.

I WAS WATCHING "THE 700

CLUB" ONE DAY, AND I WAS

WATCHING PAT ROBERTSON, AND

I FOLLOWED THAT PRAYER THAT

HE DOES.

HE DOES THE SINNER'S PRAYER,

AND I FELT SOMETHING

DIFFERENT ABOUT ME.

AND I STARTED ATTENDING

CHURCH REGULARLY, AND

STARTED REALLY, REALLY

WORKING ON MYSELF TO DO

SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT

WHO I WAS.

Reporter: BUT GABRIEL

HAD A PROBLEM.

I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO BE

ANYTHING ELSE, OTHER THAN

THE PERSON I USED TO BE.

Reporter: SO HE STARTED

READING HIS BIBLE.

IN SO MANY WAYS HE WAS

SHOWING ME WHAT I NEEDED TO

DO FOR HIM, AND IN TURN,

WHAT HE WOULD DO FOR ME.

AND IT WOULD BE FOR HIS

GLORY.

AND IT GAVE ME A DIFFERENT

MEANING OF WHAT MY LIFE WAS

ALL ABOUT, AND THAT WAS TO

SERVE HIM.

AND TO SHOW OTHER PEOPLE

WHAT HE DOES WITHIN ME.

BECAUSE ALL I KNOW TO BE IS

AN ANGRY, DECEITFUL,

UN-WORTHY INDIVIDUAL.

BUT GUIDED BY THE HOLY

SPIRIT, I GET TO TALK AND

SHARE WITH OTHERS ABOUT WHO

GOD IS.

Reporter: GABRIEL HAS

BEEN CLEAN FOR EIGHT YEARS,

AND HE LOVES TO TALK WITH

KIDS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF

GANGS AND HOW TO AVOID

THEM.

IT IS A PASSION, NOT A

JOB.

LEARN TO BE OBEDIENT TO WHAT

HE WANTS FOR ME.

KNOWING THESE KIDS NEED A

LOT OF HELP.

HE SHOWED ME WHAT

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS.

THERE IS NO STRINGS ATTACHED

TO LOVE.

IT IS JUST LOVE, NO MATTER

WHAT.

ALL IT TAKES IS SOME WORDS

SAYING, GOD, I WANT TO KNOW

YOU.

AND NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE,

HE WILL GRAB YOU AND HOLD

YOU AND TELL YOU THAT IT'S

GOING TO BE OKAY.

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