On Easter Sunday in 1972, Raul Ries waited for his family to come home … so he could kill them.
Raul had grown up with an abusive, alcoholic father who taught him to handle problems with violence. Raul was in and out of trouble throughout his teen years until at eighteen, he was arrested and given a choice: prison or the military. He chose the Marines and was sent to Vietnam. After 11 months of bad behavior, he was bound in shackles and a straightjacket and spent six months in a naval hospital.
As soon as he was released, Raul went right back to his old life. He began physically abusing his wife – pushing her, kicking her, punching her, and choking her. She decided to leave Raul, and he decided he would never allow that to happen. His plan was to execute his wife and kids, then engage in a shootout with the police when they showed up.
On that Easter Sunday, he flew into a rage and destroyed everything in the house. When he got to the television, he struck it with the butt of his rifle … and it switched on. On the air was a well-known preacher who was talking about Jesus. His words drove Raul to his knees, and he prayed the sinner’s prayer. Raul’s amazing transformation began right there on his living room floor.
Raul’s story is riveting, and I invite you to hear it on our broadcast “From Prodigal to Pastor.” Hear how God intervened in his life, transformed his heart, and set him on a new course filled not with hatred and violence for others, but with love.
Listen on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app. Or when you give a donation of any amount, we’ll send you the CD of Raul Riese’s testimony. And if you can’t afford it, please just let us know that and we’ll get it into your hands. (Check our website for details.)
Also, if you’d like to learn more about the Christian faith, we’d recommend our free e-book called “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family.” It will give you all the information you need, and there’s even a prayer included if you’d like to ask Jesus Christ into your heart.
If you’re already a Christian, let me remind you that Focus on the Family is here to spread the good news of the Gospel, and to encourage you in your marriage and parenting journey. Raul Riese’s testimony is proof that Christian media can make a tremendous difference in a person’s life!
In fact, in the past year, over 170,000 people said they made decisions for Christ because of Focus on the Family. Of course, there are costs involved in getting our broadcast on the air every day and in getting our resources into people’s hands. So please, support us if you can. Join us as we help those families thrive in Christ!
Raul Ries is the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs in Diamond Bar, CA, and President of Somebody Loves You Ministries