Gilbert Gonzales grew up idolizing gang members and became a King Kobra member at 16. See his initiation and his escape.
- [Andrew] A boy follows inthe footsteps of his family.
- I wanted to take on thetradition of bein' a gang member.
- [Andrew] His initiation.
- [Gilbert] He just startedpunching me in my face.
- [Andrew] And his escape.
- I'm gonna end up dying or going to jail.
- [Andrew] Plus, bad bacteria
in the gut ravaged the body.
- Hepatitis, obesity-inducedliver disease, alcohol.
- [Andrew] And the mind.
- A lot of anxiety disorders, depression.
- [Andrew] Our Build aBetter Gut series continues
on today's 700 Club Interactive.
Hi, and welcome to the show.
A homeless web developer, who's gone viral
after handing out resumesalong a freeway in California,
now has a roof over hishead thanks to social media.
- David Casarez ran out ofcash while pursuing his dream
of starting his own tech company
and has spent the lastyear living in his car
and then on a beach afterhis van was repossessed.
Well, last week, David puton a collared shirt and tie
and handed out his resumeon a busy highway median.
A passerby's photo of himwith a sign that read,
"Homeless, hungry 4success, take a resume,"
went viral on Twitter.
Because of the publicity, theTexas A&M University graduate
said he's gotten hundredsof opportunities,
plus a hotel room andmore than 200 job offers.
- Wow, 200?- 200. (laughs)
David says he's gratefulhe can finely breathe
a sigh of relief and can you blame him?
That's a pretty creative strategy!
- Isn't it amazing the waypeople respond to humility?
I mean, really, talkabout humbling himself.
He's going to this measureto try and find employment
and people respond so well to it.
- And this is one of thoseinternet communication things
that you can go, "Okay,that's a good idea." (laughs)
- Yeah, and the fact that the offers are
just flooding in, he has a choice of many.
Some are international.
- So happy to see thatfor him, pretty creative.
Well, wide receiver, say that twice fast.
- I know you're a footballfan, you know that one.
Wide receiver.- Yeah. (laughing)
I know, it's because it's not Green Bay.
The New York Giants OdellBeckham Jr. also has
a few pictures that haverecently gone viral.
The football player made aprofession of faith in God
on social media,pronouncing himself forgiven
during his recent baptism in Jerusalem.
- Odell was baptized in the Jordan River
during a recent tour of the Holy Land
and wrote on Instagram,"Fresh start, what a time!"
In another post of himon a camel, there he is,
he said, "I couldn't haveasked for anything more.
"God, I can't thank youenough for this one,
"my journey is just beginning."
It really is just beginning, I mean,
the guy's only 25 years old.
And he's one of the premierplayers in the league,
coming back from an injurylast year, broke his ankle.
He's in camp now in a contractdispute with the Giants.
They don't think maybehe's worth the top salary
for a wide receiver.
But, trying to live out anew faith in New York City.
- In professional sports today.
- While you're tryingto negotiate a contract,
I hope people in Christendom, so to speak,
and in the secular worldwill allow this guy
to develop his faith without
a lot of intrusion from the outside.
- I love the fact that he didthe traditional camel picture.
(laughing) Everybodywho goes to Israel does
the camel picture.
- I've never been there, Ihave to get over there and--
- Well, you need togo, it's life changing,
not just because you'rebaptized in the Jordan,
but the whole journey, you know.
- Try and get over there.
Well, many are calling guthealth the next mega trend
in the world of health and wellness
because the bacteria in your intestines is
one of the most powerful weapons
you have in fighting disease.
- These bacteria play akey role in our health.
They affect everythingfrom the common cold
to the most deadly diseases.
Medical reporter, Lorie Johnson,shares how you can reduce
the risk of getting sick, take a look.
- Shocking as it may sound,
when a person becomes sick and dies,
too often doctors find the trouble started
in the intestines becauseof a disruption in bacteria.
Over the last decade,scientists in labs like this,
have been researching theimpact of the gut microbiome
on all types of diseases.
What they've discovered isthat good and bad bacteria
in our bodies has a muchmore profound impact
than previously thought.
Doctor J. Bajaj leads a research team
at Virginia Commonwealth University.
He says bacteria living in our intestines
dramatically influenceseach aspect of our health,
literally from head-to-toe.
- The potential is stillbeing unraveled to the point
that even 10 years is too little for us
to even scratch the surfaceof the amount of complexity
and the potential thatwe have both for good
and for harm in the gut microbes.
- [Lorie] Harm such as liver diseases,
one of the leading causesof death and disability.
- It goes from the spectrum of hepatitis,
obesity-induced liver disease, alcohol,
all the way to end stage with cancer,
as well as cirrhosis.
- [Lorie] Dr. Bajaj says too much
bad bacteria causes inflammation.
- An inflamed liver doesn'tdo its job very well,
the gut gets more inflamedand this, unfortunately,
leads to the cycle thatpatients find themselves in
to liver disease without knowing it.
- [Lorie] And it's not just that problem
that can sneak up on someone.
- There are a number ofdiseases that have been linked
to aberrations in the gut microbiome.
- [Lorie] Johns HopkinsGastroenterologist,
Dr. Gerard Mullin, author ofthe Gut Balance Revolution,
says folks need to knowintestinal problems can lead
to cancer and otherlife-threatening issues.
- What's most alarmingis that there are people
out there who have rheumatoid arthritis,
some kind of autoimmune diseaseand cardiovascular disease
that may have a gutcondition that is silent
and is the cause.
- [Lorie] He says while we mayseem okay when we're younger,
it eventually catches up to us.
- When we reach our 50s, 60s, on up,
then all of a sudden itbecomes more sensitive
to the environment and less stable.
So, in particular, theelderly are more susceptible
to variations in the environment
that may disturb the microbiome.
- [Lorie] The ClevelandClinic's Dr. Gail Cresci
says the gut alsoprofoundly affects thoughts
and feelings, all thanksto the gut-brain access,
a well-traveled pathway between the mind
and this crucial part of the body.
- Gut bacteria secretedifferent byproducts
and some of the thingsthat they secrete are
neurotransmitters thatleave the intestinal tract
and signal to the brain,
these are things likeserotonin and dopamine.
We know those then becomeinto the bloodstream
and can get into the brainand help affect mood.
So a lot of anxiety disorders, depression,
are related with alterationsin gut microbiota.
- [Lorie] Also Parkinson's,autism, Alzheimer's
and multiple sclerosis.
An unhealthy gut can even keepdrugs from doing their jobs.
- So, if you're taking an oral medication,
that's being processedby your gut microbiome.
And if you think about howsome people are responders
to medication and some people aren't,
it could be because they have alterations
in their gut microbiome andthe other person doesn't.
- This is the MayoClinic's anerobic chamber
where scientists grow and study bacteria
that die when exposed to oxygen.
Believe it or not, we havea lot of anerobic bacteria
in our bodies because a good portion
of our intestines are oxygen free.
Researchers here say theright kind of bacteria means
the lining of ourintestines contains tiny,
helpful holes that allowmicroscopic nutrients
into our bodies.
Too much bad bacteria, however,
causes those holes to grow.
- Which means it allowsmore things to pass through.
Things which are not desirable.
And yes, I mean, there's a lot of diseases
like celiac disease orinflammatory bowel disease,
where the gut lining
is not as
- [Lorie] Dr. Mark Hyman agrees,
adding that when large particles leak out,
the immune system sees themas invaders and attacks them.
- Well, we've had a lotof insults to our gut
and that leads to disturbancesin our own gut microbiome
that creates breakdown in our gut lining,
that creates a leaky gut,that creates inflammation,
that's linked to almost all diseases.
- [Lorie] In his book,Food, Dr. Hyman outlines
how to repair a leaky gut.
- We need to understandhow to restore the gut
with probiotics and fiber and prebiotics.
It's a massive public health problem
and I think it's lead toa lot of other issues.
- So significant for all of us
and the great thingis, it can be repaired.
We have a free booklet available for you,
it's called, Build a Better Gut.
To get a copy just dial 1-800-700-7000.
You can also log on to cbn.com
and download the booklet there
and stream the entire four-partBuild a Better Gut series.
There was so much information there,
I think that's a wonderful idea
if you have the ability to do that.
But, get Build a Better Gut,
it'll give you some basic information
on how you can begin tobe sure you're healthy.
Andrew.- Thank you, Terry.
Well, up next, a teenagergets his first taste
of gang life after gettingbeaten up by his own uncle.
- He's says you're getting jumped in.
Right away, I thought Iwas like the toughest dude
'cause now I can call myselfa member of the King Kobras.
- Hear how a trip to the ERhelped him get off the streets.
That's when we come back, stay with us.
(dramatic news music)
Gilbert Gonzales alwayswanted to be a gangster.
To him, being in a gang meant being tough
and when he was 16, he got his wish.
But years later, all hewanted was to get out.
- Just to hear thestories of them fighting
and stuff they got into,I was attracted to that.
I wanted to be acceptedby my uncles and my mom.
I wanted to take on thetradition of bein' a gang member.
- [Andrew] As a young boy,Gilbert Gonzales idolized
his family members who were active
in Southern California street gangs.
To him, they were larger than life.
- I wanted to have their stories,
I wanted to be rough like them
and be strong like they were strong.
Whatever they gotta do for the gang
like robbin' and stealing, or killing.
People die and people getshot, so it's a part of it.
- [Andrew] He moved to Arkansas,
but when he was 16 his uncle came to visit
and officially jumped him into the gang.
- He used to start punching me in my face
like he was hurting meand I had to swing back
and he says, "You're getting jumped in."
It was fighting, a fist fight.
My own uncle was beating me up.
Right away, I thought Iwas like the toughest dude
'cause now I can call myselfa member of the King Kobras.
- [Andrew] His brotherseventually followed him
into the King Kobras.
Gilbert says he loved theidentity he had as a gang member.
- Anybody who was from a different gang,
if they wanted to fight me,I was always claiming it.
That's what I loved to do, you know,
one thing I was good back in the days was
bein' a gang member, Iwasn't good at anything else.
That's who I was.
That's what I wanted to beall my life was a gang member.
- [Andrew] Weekly fights and turf wars
with other gangs were fueled
by daily drug and alcohol abuse.
- Crack cocaine and the use of cocaine
and mixing it together.
I didn't care, I remember just saying,
"Well, if I'm gonna overdose,I'm gonna overdose partying,"
and I didn't care how much I would use
'cause it was always there around us.
We would always do drugs,it was normal to us.
It was a part of the gangculture, doing drugs,
getting high, getting drunk.
- [Andrew] One night, Gilbertwas stabbed during a fight.
The reality of his lifechoices finally sank in.
- I remember getting rushed to the ER
and they had to stitch me up
'cause I was cut really deep in my back.
And just thinkin' about life and,
"Is this all there is to life,
"like gang banging anddoing drugs and partying?"
I was like, "Man, therehas to be a change,
"I can't live this way forever,
"'cause I'm gonna end updying or going to jail."
- [Andrew] But his gangsterlifestyle continued.
Soon after, he was arrestedfor public intoxication.
Late that night, he called his girlfriend,
Karen, for bail money.
- I just told her, "Can you get me out?"
And I didn't have moneyon me and Karen came
and her mom actually gave her the money.
- I told him, I'm like, "Hey, my mom,
"that was my mom's money,
"she said you need to come to church."
And he said, "Okay."
And I was like, "I'll pick you up."
- And I remember going,I was hungover still.
And I went and when I was in there,
I didn't really payattention to the sermon,
'cause I was scared of Karen's mom
'cause she was singing in the choir.
I remember her coming down the steps
and I thought she was gonnaslap me in the service,
but she stook her handout and she was like,
"Nice to meet you," and that shocked me.
- [Andrew] He started going tochurch regularly with Karen.
Then one day, she wentforward during an altar call.
- In my mind I was like, "Isshe really gonna do this?
"Is she really gonna follow Jesus?"
Like, we never talk aboutit, it just blew me away
that she made this commitment.
- [Andrew] In the followingweeks, he met with the pastor
and heard about God's love and grace
in a way he hadn't before.
- I was just thinkingabout what he told me,
like about who Jesus isand what he did for us.
And knowing that thisloving God died for my sins,
I was just feeling so much weight,
like heaviness on my heart.
Because before I neverregretted what I did,
I never felt guilty forthe people I beat up
or hurt or almost killed.
Like, to me, it was likeI felt good about it,
but it was just eating me up inside.
I remember going in theroom and getting on my knees
and crying like I never criedlike that in a long time.
I remember just laying everything on God
and, "God I want to change,
"I don't want live this lifestyle no more,
"I'm tired of drinking.
"Forgive me for all the pastthings I did in my life,
"from beatin' up people."
And I was just done with the gang stuff,
I was done with all that.
And the way I felt in thatmoment was just a peace,
knowing that everythingthat I did in my life
he forgave at that moment.
- [Andrew] Gilbert leftthe gang and was set free
from drugs and alcohol addiction
as he put his life in Jesus' hands.
- I'm beyond thankful, I'mgrateful that God has changed
my life 'cause I don't knowwhere I would be at right now,
I'd either be dead or injail or being homeless.
He has blessed me with so much.
- [Andrew] Gilbert and Karenmarried and started a family,
his brothers and mother alsogave their lives to Christ
and left the gang.
- God in his mercy, youknow, answered my prayers
on my family, 'cause I thoughtthey would never change.
He changes people.
He changed me, he changed my family.
- [Andrew] The gang memberidentity that used to define him,
has now been exchanged for anew one, a follower of Jesus.
- Now that I found myidentity is in Christ,
all that has past and the new, you know,
I'm like my new identity's in him.
I'm no longer living for myself,
I live for Christ now.
It's changed the way Ithink, the way I live,
all my life, the way I treat my wife,
the way I'm raising my boy.
It's just a new identityknowing that I've been forgiven.
- What a life change in Gilbert.
Terry and I were watching this piece
and saying only Jesus couldcapture a heart like that.
You heard Gilbert in the beginning say
what he wanted was acceptance,
that's why he went down thatroad, looking for acceptance,
something we're all looking for.
But when we find thatthrough sinful actions,
it will always lead to destruction.
Sin always destroys, itdestroys our relationships,
it destroys our future.
It would destroy our soulif not for the grace of God.
Gilbert found out thatthe Psalmist was truthful
when he said, "The Lord iscompassionate and gracious,
"the Lord is slow toanger, abounding in love.
"God always wants relationship with us,
If you're watching right now and saying,
"No, I've done too much,I've been too evil,
"I have sinned too much."
Let Gilbert's story speak to you
that God always desires relationship
and that's why he senthis son Jesus Christ
to bleed and die on thecross for our salvation
so relationship with ourheavenly father is possible.
Jesus said in John 10:10,"That the thief comes
"to steal and kill and destroy."
That's all our enemy, thedevil, wants to do is destroy
and kill and steal.
He wants to steal our relationshipwith our heavenly father.
But Jesus said, "I havecome that they may have life
"and have it to the full,to have it in abundance."
And that means that wecan indeed walk away
from the shame of our past.
We can have a new life in Jesus Christ,
as the Apostle Paul says, "Wecan become a new creation,"
and that is possible throughthe blood shed on the cross.
It's not something we can earn,
it's not something wecan achieve on our own,
it's done through thesacrifice of Jesus Christ.
And someone today may justneed to hear the word,
that the Lord is slow to anger,
he is compassionate and gracious.
And if you're in need of prayer,
if you need to give someone your concerns
and just share thediscouragement you may even have
just in your life or needing to just pray
for salvation in Jesus Christ,
I encourage you to call us, 800-700-7000.
There is someone on theother end of that line
who would love to pray for youand lead you to Jesus Christ.
Terry.- A remarkable story.
Well, still to come,she's affectionately known
as Mama Lilly to hundreds oforphans of sub-Saharan Africa.
Find out why after this.
Lillian Klepp felt likeshe wasn't reaching anyone
outside her church walls in Wisconsin.
She wanted to do moreyet she never imagined
that she'd have to lose everything
to find exactly what she was looking for.
- [Andrew] Dennis and LillianKlepp were an ordinary couple,
actively involved intheir church in Wisconsin.
But in 1999, after hearing a speaker share
about the orphans and widowsin war-torn countries,
Lillian felt they shouldbe doing more to help.
Two years later, theKlepps sold all they had
and moved to Africa, devoting their lives
to serving the poor inSouth Sudan and Uganda.
- Well, joining us now is Lillian Klepp,
also known as Mama Lilly.
Thank you for being here.
- Thank you for having me.
- Go back, if you will, to the beginning
of this great adventurethat God has invited you on.
You were going to church,you guys were active
in your church, you love theLord, you were committed.
You went to a woman's conference
and God spoke to your heart,what did he say to you?
- Well, that night, therewas 12,000 women there
and I went forward andasked him what I could do
for Africa when I heardthe need in South Sudan
and he said, "Sell everything you have
"and give it to the poor."
- [Terry] What did you think?
- Well, I was kinda taken back by it.
I guess I didn't expect God to answer me
when I asked him what can I do. (laughing)
So I pondered it for about a week or so
before I told my husband.
- And then, he didn'tcome on board right away.
- No, he didn't.
- Well, it's not the kindof thing you just jump on
and say, "Okay, let's go tomorrow."
I mean, lot's to consider.
- That's right and he knows I'ma very adventuresome person,
so he thought I was onsome wild whim. (laughs)
- [Terry] So, here you two are,
you start an organization called
Harvesters Reaching the Nations,
and initially, you went to Uganda, right?
- Well, actually, I mean, we went through
but we started in SouthSudan and then we ended up
down in Uganda now.
- [Terry] Because the need was so great?
- Yes, the need was so great.
- [Terry] What are the greatest needs
in that part of the world right now?
- [Lillian] Well, education is a big one.
- [Terry] How many kidsdo you serve there?
- [Lillian] Well, we actuallyfeed over a thousand children
we have in our schools, every day.
So we educate and feed and--
- Wow, when you first went to South Sudan
you met a little child, I mean,
really within the first fewweeks you were there who was
born early, malnourished,not expected to live.
Today he's your son, tell us about that.
- Well, we were just buildingthe orphanage at the time
and Caleb came into the orphanage
and the father asked if we'd take him
and I said, "We're juststarting, we weren't ready."
A few days later he cameback crying and asking again
and we said, "God, isthis you speaking to us?"
I mean, we were in ourlate 40s at the time
and yeah, we felt it was.
- Wow, and today he's
How has your ministrygrown over the years?
You started, I'm surewith just opening a place
that would be safe?
These children are in war-torn areas
and they come, I'm sure,with emotional needs
as well as physical needs?
- [Lillian] Yeah,they're very traumatized.
We actually started a program,my daughter-in-law went
and got trained in Uganda,
so we're doing some trauma counseling.
But it's grown, we wouldtake like 20 at a time
and I mean, it was justoverwhelming in the beginning,
the need was so great.
- And then education cameto play a part in that.
What role does that playdo you you think, Lilly?
- That plays a big part.
Education helps them to havea different way of thinking,
they're very superstitious.
- [Terry] Yeah, butchanging, you're right,
there's so much superstitionin Africa, specifically,
that some of it is just a changeof mind and understanding.
- [Lillian] Right, educationand the word of God,
I really believe, changes them.
- So have you seen the wordof God make a difference in,
not just the lives of the kids,
but what about the surrounding community?
- Yes, we have several home-cell groups
that our childrenactually go out and lead,
so the whole community hasbeen radically changed.
- And I understand you've been able
to have quite an impacton the Muslim portion
of the community, as well?
- Everybody in the community.
There've been men that have come in
and brought their opiumin front of the church
and burned it and gavetheir hearts to Christ.
So it's amazing what God can do,
and I don't say that bragging,
but one person listeningto God and being obedient,
and how it has affectedthe entire community there.
- So, you and Dennis cameback in, was it 2014,
and now you travel back andforth from the United States,
but your your son anddaughter-in-law are living there
with a grandson?- Yes.
- [Terry] So the family's still invested.
What's next for Harvesters?
- Well, we're praying, you know,
we always wanted to evenexpand in South Sudan,
but there's been so muchunrest it's very difficult.
So, I think we'll probablyend up expanding even more
in Uganda, I'd like to seea medical clinic there.
There's just such a great needwith the refugees there now.
- [Terry] How do you determinewhether a child comes into
the facility that you have?
- We try to work with thelocal people that are there,
if there's any churchesor even the government,
we were workin' prior to them.
And just word of mouth in the community
to find out if there's a real need there.
- So do you have somewho are students only
and they go home to their families, or?
- Well, the students come and go,
they're from the community,
they interact with ourorphans at our orphanage.
- And so, a lot of these kids are orphaned
because of the warfare, right?
Because of what's gone on?
My understanding is thatthey have seen some things
that are so horrificthat only God could heal.
- [Lillian] Yes, it's horrendouswhat they've gone through.
- What an amazing team of people you are
to be able to bring,
not just health and notjust a secure place to live,
not just education,
but also a sense ofwholeness in all of that.
Jesus heals from theinside out, doesn't he?
- Amen, it's bringin' 'em home.
You know, living the gospelout is really what it is.
Well, Orphan's Promise hasbeen able to work with you
and we're so honored tobe a part of the work
that you're doing there and we'll continue
to pray for you as God opensdoors for you to expand
because they need to be opened by him.
Listen, if you would like to help,
Harvesters Reaching theNations has partnered
with Orphan's Promise to help the children
in war-torn Uganda and South Sudan.
Call our toll-free number,it's 1-800-700-7000,
you can designate your gift to the work
that they're doing there.
If you'd like more of Lillian's story,
you can check out her memoir, it's called,
Adventures Under the Mango Tree,
and you can find out how to get a copy
by going to cbn.com.
I want to mention that peoplecan sponsor children as well.
- Yes, they can sponsor on the web.
- So I want you to know that.
Thank you for all you do--- Thank you so much, Terry.
- Both you and Dennis.
What an amazing work,all because they said yes
to a God adventure.
We want to leave you todaywith a Psalm 82:3 quote,
"Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
"uphold the rights of theoppressed and the destitute."
You know, this isn't justa mandate from the Lord
for all of us as believers,it's our privilege.
And you can be a part of that, too.
We want to invite you to jointhe work of Orphan's Promise,
go to orphanspromise.orgif you'd like to see more
of what we're doing.
Thank you for yourcompassion, for your kindness,
for caring about thosewho are lost and in need.
We'll see you again tomorrowon 700 Club Interactive.
'Til then, God bless you.