From the Cartel to Christ
Jack E. RauschAnne, it is an honor to have met you at the conference, and thanks for this opportunity to share my testimony.
I became involved with drugs and alcohol in my early teens mainly to escape from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. My dream was to become a pilot, but I couldn’t fly for the Colombian Air Force or for major Airlines because regulations about eye sight, not even with corrective lenses. When I got my Private Pilot’s License I looked for work with the Colombian Cartel. I did not fly much; instead I ended up transporting, warehousing, and marketing drugs in the U.S.
After fifteen years working for the cartel I got arrested with a large quantity of kilos of Cocaine and found myself facing the rest of my life imprisoned, I sought God for help. The Holy Spirit showed me the damage drugs do to people as I saw fellow prisoners’ lives destroyed and the effect on their families.
After six months of pointless legal battle and while housed in a high security area of the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, California, my cellmate, allegedly arrested for murder, moved my curiosity.
One night, as he came back from the Christian service singing and smiling, I told him, “What’s wrong with you? You look like you’re going out tonight.”
“I’ve put every thing in my Lord’s hands. Jesus Christ paid for all my sins,” responded the young African American.
“You’ never gonna get out, bro…” I countered.
“My trust and my life are in God’s hands. He knows what is best for me.” He beamed. “Come with me to the next service, Jack, and the pastor will explain it to you.”
The previous six months in jail had been devastating. All I’d fought for was gone. The memory of my last morning at home kept playing in my mind. I kissed my eighteen-month-old son on the forehead as the nanny fed him, and my seven-year-old stepdaughter said “I love you daddy,” as I kissed her good bye. I was never to return to that home. I constantly thought about all the suffering I caused my mother.
I could not bear the guilt anymore. Worst of all, there was nothing I could do to pay for the damage I had inflicted on about thirty million people I’d affected by the drugs I had distributed.
In December 15, 1996, as I attended a Christian service, God’s forgiveness became a reality in my heart. I’d been raised in a religious family and had a basic knowledge about God but never applied the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to my life, nor had any idea about the works of the Holy Spirit. I’d never read the Bible before.
I gave my life to Jesus Christ that night, and my life was given a new beginning (Isaiah 55:6-7; Jeremiah 29:11-13). Reading the Bible opened a new world of hope and joy I’ve never known before. There is no drug, power, or wealth, nor is there any pleasure I’ve experienced that can be compared with having God in my life.
Even though no child should have to endure abuse, I was able to face the rage and bitterness against my father. God showed me the sin in his life, and somehow helped me understand why he drank so much, why he was so violent. He didn’t know any better; he didn’t have God in his life, and he died without Jesus. God also brought closure to the effect of the horrible sin in the person that abused me. Sin without restraint affects others. Jesus brought healing into that area of my life that caused my destructive behavior and my rebelliousness against authority.
How could I not forgive when I have been forgiven?
The best of all is that I had a way to bring healing to all the pain I brought to my mother, children, and sister. They came to know the Lord through my experience. I take full responsibility for my actions, and even though I deserved the prison’s horrible experience and more God gave me opportunity to share what He has done, and that is a good reason to live for.
It is the greatest love of all that God gave His only Son to pay for my sins and that believing in Him, I become His son too. He is my Father now, and nothing can change that. It is beautiful to be able to communicate with God daily through prayer and to have His Word, the Bible, to learn about Him and His promises.
My new life is secured by what Jesus Christ did on the cross for me; it is sealed with His blood and confirmed by the Holy Spirit within me. After my release from prison I went to the Calvary Chapel School of Ministry, did the Hispanic Ministry at my church for two years, and now I assist on another ministry. I hope that my book From the Cartel to Christ will be published soon and through it might motivate many to seek God.
Please visit my webpage at www.fromthecarteltochrist.com.
This is my encounter with God.
Jack E. Rausch