My name is Jorge Cuvas; I was born and raised in the county of Los Angeles . I grew up and learned to survive in the streets of Norwalk , CA. My father was an alcoholic and very abusive, My mother did what she could, but I did have 6 brothers and sisters...this was my first major event in life. Due to that, I became a very violent person and I was forced to turn to the streets at the age of 12, I got jumped into the gang at age 13, and got the nickname ~ MR. WICKED ~ from BARRIO NORWALK ONE WAY LOKOS. I was told by the "so called" homies that I had to live up to my name and defend my barrio no matter what, so my mission in life was to become the baddest and most feared vato from Norwalk . So, I became the most wanted by all rival gangs.

My dad and I never got along and I feared him the most so I would stay out late as I could and eventually I moved to my grandmothers. I felt like he hated me, nothing I did was good enough, I was always blamed for everything, yelled at, and hit, put down, and you name it! I hated my father with a passion, He used to beat my mom and I finally stood up to him one time when he was beating my mom up, I hit him over the head with the chimney poker. He knocked out and we took off, my mom eventually went back, (she always went back). When I was 14, I met a young woman and we got involved a little too seriously, we were young and dumb and she ended up getting pregnant. When she told me she said that her mom was very angry. I was worried but what was I supposed to have done, I was only 14 too, so after this I didn't see or talk to her for about a month and the whole time Im wondering whats going on. When I finally saw her, she informed me that her mom took her to get an abortion. WHAT!? I was so mad I didn't let her finish talking, I just walked away, I couldn't believe what was happening, WHY is all I could ask, I became a really angry person from here on out. This was my second major event in my life, because this is where I started to hate women and felt like I couldn't trust any of them, I basically felt like everyone was out to get me. At age 15 my uncle taught me how to cook "rock", he was a big-time drug dealer in my neighborhood. That is who I wanted to be like. I eventually learned how to steal cars for my income.

I supported myself by doing this; I bought my own clothes, shoes, and whatever else a teenager needed. I considered myself a professional car thief! My grandmother's house was shot up so many times, my familia started to get tired of me. They wanted me out and I was only 16. I didn't care what they thought, I stayed there and wherever else I was at, It didn't matter to me because I had the attitude of not caring for myself let alone for those who cared about me. Because I hated myself, those around me started to feel the hate and the anger I had built up because of what I was put through. I learned how to shut down my feelings, and wouldn't let anyone in. I didn't trust anyone! That was my motto, TRUST NO-ONE!" (I still have the tattoo). I made my own money and so I thought I was on top of the world, I had my own car at the age of 14, my own money, my own rules. But then I started getting into trouble with the law, I had charges starting from graffiti to assault w/intent to terrorize and got sent to LA County Jail for several months.

I eventually got out, went back to my grandmother's house and the drive-by's started up again. My grandma told my mom all the stuff that was happening and my mom told me that I had to go to Phoenix , AZ with her. I didn't want to but she convinced me to go. That was my third major event, because this is where my life takes a turn. The crimes I used to make a living on continued in Phoenix . I was stealing cars for a guy that owned a "Chop-Shop"; I was making real good money here until I was setup by the guy I was working for! He wanted a way out because he was caught, so he set me up. I did time for this charge and I got out, that's why I said I WAS a professional car thief, but not after this. I didn't think I ever would get caught but, because I did, I vowed I would never steal another car, because I wasn't professional anymore! I was in and out of the jail system for several years, finally made it to the big house, prison. I did my time and didn't want to go back.

When I got out I went to my younger brother's apartment, he was at the time, dealing and using drugs. I wanted to stay out of trouble so I tried to keep to myself, but that was no use because when I was walking through this drug infested apartment complex I was stabbed by an individual I once knew. Few more weeks go by and I met my wife, she got pregnant right away and I was so excited and scared at the same time. We eventually move back to her hometown in Fort Defiance , AZ. and we started our lives there. She had 3 kids of her own, Monieka was 4, Zavion was 2 and Tyrone was 1. I accepted them as my own, right away. I even potty-trained the little boys! We had a baby girl the year of 2002. She was so precious to me, I named her Kiara. This was the fourth major event in my life, because this was MY first child and I got to see her be born. Truly amazing!

After Kiara was born, my wife and I started to have problems. We started to use drugs (meth) and got hooked. We were separated because of the drugs and I got thrown back in prison for a few more months. When I got out, my wife and I reunited and began this drug trip again. We eventually moved to Phoenix, and my wife was pregnant with our 2nd child, we said we would stop doing drugs. She tried to get me to go to church but I didn't care. She asked me to get saved and I was like yea whatever you want. She was trying to have this "Christian Family" and I went along with it. Just so she would quit bugging me about it. She was in school, and I was doing some part time work, I started doing drugs behind her back and she found out. She asked me to get her some too, as stupid as it sounds now, I did. She lost it after this; she got hooked and went crazy for the drug. She had our baby boy, Angel, and he was born positive with methamphetamines in his system. This is the fifth major event in my life because this was seriously painful for me. I tried to help her to stop but she wouldn't.

CPS got involved and would visit us regularly. We began fighting real bad to the point where I started hitting her, and the kids would see this. CPS noticed her bruises and we came clean, so they wanted to drug test us every week. We weren't clean, and we weren't going to lose our kids to the system so we took off back to her reservation. We left the kids with her grandma and went back to Phoenix. We didn't keep in contact with her family, so they began to worry. They eventually called Social Services (CPS) on us and started a case against us. They split up the kids and put them with family members who were able to help. Angel, the newborn, got sent to Texas with my wife's cousin and his family. The rest were here on the reservation. We continued to use drugs and were too pre-occupied with our self destructing life to care about the kids. We eventually lost custody of them, my wife and I separated, and I went back to California . I continued to use when I got there, my wife contacted me a couple of months down the road and came to be with me in California . We used together again; break up to make up relationship all over again. We left to Las Vegas with my uncle to help him move. We ended up being there for a couple of months, using drugs and drinking allot of alcohol. I felt like I was going nowhere, I met some guy across the street from us and he was living in a shelter for addicts, from the Victory Outreach Ministries. He began talking to me about God, it gave me some hope, but I wasn't quite ready. We visited their church on several occasions but frustration came into play. We finally decided to go back to the reservation, where the kids were. So we did.

On January 2nd, 2004 we got off the bus in Gallup , NM. With a new plan in mind. SOBRIETY! This is when we stopped everything we were addicted to, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. We went to go be with the kids at my wifes grandmothers house and I started working on getting our kids back. My wife went to church one night and she took me the next night, there was a special speaker (an evangelist) in town, so I went. I felt like he was talking to me, everything he was saying made sense. I told myself "I tried everything else and nothing worked, so why not give God a chance", so when he was done speaking he began to lead a prayer of salvation for sinners who weren't saved and asked those if they wanted God to come into their life, all heads were still bowed, and I went up there. They took me to the back and I prayed, with their help, a prayer of salvation. At that moment, I felt different. It was something I never felt before, something was lifted off of me, and its hard for me to explain. All the pain I endured, all the anger, all the fear, all the suffering just came right out of me. I couldn't believe how God could accept me for who I am and to feel his love run through me was so amazing I started to break down into tears. I started to feel again, I became a whole new person, *Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, 2 Cor 5:17 .

God had plans for me, he started to build my life from this point on in a dramatically way. I got a job, and within the week of having my job, we got a van partly donated from one of the church members. Three months later, we moved out of Grandma's house and had ourselves our own place, (rented of course). I got injured while on the job, so I eventually stopped working there. I have a neck injury that prevented me from getting jobs I was used to. In the meantime, we are in this gruesome court battle for getting our son Angel back from Texas. The family didn't want to return him to us, but we had all the other kids. This led on for a year and a half until we finally got him back, Thanks to God. We proved ourselves fit! God eventually led me to the Mission here at Western Indian Ministries, located at Tse Bonito, NM. The mission consists of a radio station, with 3 broadcasting stations, a private Christian school accredited by the ACSI, and our home church-The Community Bible Church. They offered me a part-time job helping with the students for an academic meet they were participating in and with that it led me to a more promising position. They liked my job performance and asked me to fill out an application and they gave me the position of a Maintenance Man here at the Mission . It doesn't pay much, but that's not what I was looking for. I was excited I was going to be working here to help the mission and serve my duties as a Christian. The bonuses of my job include, "but are not limited to"; free tuition of all my kids who attend the Hilltop Christian School, (which is a private school here), housing on campus and the joy of living and working in a Christian atmosphere is such a blessing. I share my testimony with others, and speak at different presentations sharing what God has done in my life.

God has done so much for me, I am very thankful for all the people that God put in my life, and for all the children I am blessed with to turn into Christian warriors. I have no regrets in my life because everything I have gone through has taught me something, but its nothing I'm proud of and I pray that no one has to go through this to realize that God is the way. I now have seven children and my wife. It's not a fairytale ending either, because I am still human and I still stumble and have ups and downs like everyone else, but I handle mine in a different light. I have God to handle this for me. I try and live a stress free life now because I have faith in God. Faith is what the eyes can't see and the hands can't touch, I have nothing but faith. Needless to say, All the blessings God has given me, He didn't forget to mend my relationship with my father, he has apologized for all he did to me when I was young, and that was so much as a relief because I always thought my father hated me, he said to me that he never hated me and he loved me very much. He also said he is very proud of me and what I have accomplished for myself. A couple of years later I found out that my father got saved too! THANKS to God this is truly a miracle, considering I haven't been able to be around my dad without fighting, or speak to him in over 10 years! We are definitely making up for it now. So therefore this is what I believe now, I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe he died on the cross and rose from the dead, I believe he saved all of us from sin and because of that I have everlasting life, we all do. My favorite verse is the most famous of them all... John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world that who so ever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

Jorge and Rhiana Cuvas


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