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Pastor Remembers His Drug Dealing Days

Juan’s ambition drove him into success as a drug dealer, but landed him in prison where he had the time to reflect on the lives he'd ruined—including his own. Overwhelmed by the voice in his head and the void in his heart, see how his life ... Read Transcript

THEME SONG: In the morning, shake your sleep.

In the morning, shake your feet.

I'm going to come.

Everywhere I went, I destroyed homes, business owners,

lawyers, dentists, and I thought I did it best.

Juan Martinez, an ambitious drug dealer,

grew up willing to do anything to feel accepted and prove


Parents got divorced when I was eight years old.

So I really didn't have a father figure, per se.

I was looking at outside and what was in movies,

and I thought that the toughest guy out there, and the guy that

had the most money and the most women,

that that was really the picture of what a guy was like.

Juan started hanging out with the older kids in his New

Jersey neighborhood.

They introduced him to drugs, and by 13 he

was using and selling marijuana and cocaine.

I felt accepted by these guys.

They taught me what they knew.

They taught me their trade.

So I'm thinking, OK, if this is what I need to do,

then I have to stop everybody.

And so that's who I became.

Years later, Juan moved to Texas to expand his territory.

He was introduced to Meth.

He started using it, and then selling it,

with one goal in mind.

I wanted to make a lot of money.

I was going to come here, I was going to do the big score,

and I was going to be one of the main distributors in New York

City, and New Jersey, and those other states.

Juan began by targeting families in the suburbs.

His strategy was to first be friend the fathers.

I knew they were drinkers, and we'd drink,

and eventually you want to get high, and get the guy.

And once I got the guy high, that

was easy because now I'm invited into his home.

Once Juan got both husband and wife hooked,

he became their dealer and moved on to the next home.

I felt I was proving myself to everybody finally.

And it was this weird world-- this prideful, weird world

that made me feel like I was accomplishing something

in life.

As long as Juan stayed high, he

didn't have to think about what he was doing.

I didn't think that the things that I was doing were bad.

And if you don't think you're doing anything wrong,

you just begin to chase after something that

really will never satisfy you.

But you chase after it anyway.

One day Juan was out on a delivery

when he heard a voice he didn't recognize.

I'm hearing, "why are you killing, stealing,

and destroying the very lives I'm giving people."

For the first time in my life I felt horrible.

I'm just weeping and crying, right?

And then it's like, in a twinkling of an eye,

everything stops.

I still went and made my deliveries,

but there was a thought every time I handed it to somebody.

You know.

So I would hand it to a woman, and I was thinking,

man, I'm ruining her life.

I would hand it to a guy, man I'm ruining their life.

Juan had gone to church as a child

and believed the voice was God's,

but didn't know how to change.

A short time later he was arrested for Meth possession,

and landed in jail.

Facing a 25 year sentence.

I've hit rock bottom, nowhere else to go, I'm done.

I'm at a place now where I don't have anybody.

One night, encouraged by his cellmate, Juan

prayed and read the Bible.

Weeping, I got on my knees.

I'm repenting about everything.

I'm literally going to the tee and thinking about things

that I have done in my life.

I was like, I'm sorry.

God, I want you in my life.

I want this, Jesus, you know, I want this.

Juan surrendered his life to Christ,

and lost all desire for drugs.

I didn't feel like I had to prove anything anymore.

I felt like I was accepted, loved.

I just felt this love.

Something happened.

I was never the same again.

Juan's sentence was reduced to four years,

and he spent his time in prison growing in his faith.

Today, he is married and has a family, and as a pastor,

goes back to the very neighborhoods he dealt drugs,

and shares the gospel.

Jesus filled every void.

When I didn't have a father, he was my father.

Whatever void it is that has you empty,

you can fill that void with Jesus.

Jesus wants to give you life.


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