Nelson Vargas’ father was an abusive man. He beat Nelson and his seven brothers and sisters. When Nelson was 13 years old, his father threw him out on the street.
The young teenager slept in cars and wherever he could find a place. The need to have a family led him into gangs and eventually into selling drugs. He ended up in prison for 7 years, but that didn’t keep him clean. When he got out, he picked up where he left off.
One night he met a girl in a club — the daughter of a strong Christian woman. When he went to meet his new girlfriend’s mother at her church, he also met Jesus. Years later, he would lean hard on the Lord when his son was killed, praying for his son’s killer to meet the Lord, too. That prayer was answered — with an unusual request.
Carlos Colon was raised in Chicago, along with two half-brothers, by a single mom. Like Nelson, he was involved in a gang and drugs, which eventually led to prison for him as well. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a gang retaliation murder.
Ten years into his sentence, he found Jesus. “After I turned my life over to the Lord, I prayed on it, and I said, ‘Lord, I would love for you to restore that which the enemy has broken,’” said Carlos. “I wanted forgiveness.” He began to pray for an opportunity to meet the family of the man he killed so he could ask for their forgiveness.
Read more at the Stream.