I was raised in one of the toughest and most dangerous cities in America, the streets of Los Angeles, California. I was raised in the heart of a gang infested area. Drug-zone signs- surrounded the neighborhood and made it where kids couldn’t be kids anymore. Drugs, alcohol, gangs, guns and prostitution had taken over the communities. I was born into a broken home where my mother had been battered for over 9 years. My dad was a hard working agricultural man but had walked away from our family. He had walked out of my life. He left us no choice but to flee our country of Guatemala and come to the United States. Every Spanish family that comes to America comes with the mindset to achieve what everyone calls the “American Dream.” This was true of my family.
At a young age I was identified as a gangster, just like every other kid in the barrio (neighborhood.) No one ever told me that the gangster life was going to bring me good and bad times. The life of a gangster brought pride, respect, power, money, women, drugs, alcohol, crimes, guns and death, and being dragged in and out of jail. It’s like living on the edge of your seat, - every minute that passes by counts. In the barrio we called it “Mi Vida Loca.” (living the crazy life.) When I first got involved in that scene it was fun, but as time went by it became less fun. After a while it was based more on life or death. If kids choose that path today, they should know and realize that they are going to be doing life or death. There are opportunities and avenues that they can take whether it’s school or church, sports or other things that they can get involved with that are more prosperous and beneficial to them. I made a choice to take control of my life and make a change. I realized that life could change in a split second for everyone, for the good or for the bad. I came to the understanding in my life that the choices that I had made in the past, were becoming my future.
I was either going to live or die. The motivation to life my life today is helping and being involve and challenging people to never give up on your dreams; I found peace, love, and a new message to challenge the world. It’s time to get real with men and women, and let them know that life can change in 24 hours. I want young and old people to know that there is a choice that we need to make, it’s cool to be down for each other but more important to respect one another.
The dream Center in Los Angeles with Pastors Matthew and Tommy Barnett was a big healing part of my life. I worked there for three years as a volunteer, ministering in the streets where I was once lost and as a representative, going out and teaching people how to build dream centers in their communities and churches. The Dream Center still is a big part of my life today.
I then traveled throughout Central and South America ministering to people in many different countries. My fluent use of the Spanish language, and my transparency through my background as a “gangster” had made me a highly respected speaker. I frequently traveled throughout Europe, speaking in high schools, universities, churches, and cultural centers. I spent several weeks touring through Scandinavia and the response to the motivational message of “God Where Are You?” and “The Choices That You Make Today You Will Become Tomorrow” made a powerful impact on the lives of many of the young and old people in various countries. While there, my appearances were widely covered by all aspects of media, including newspapers and secular televisions shows.
I have appeared on TBN on several occasions in The Dream Center Documentary and Kids Against Crime show. I had also made television appearances throughout the United States. I was also featured on Scandinavian television shows and on the front covers of every major Scandinavian newspaper and magazine. I spoke on K-Light Christian Radio in Los Angeles, as well as radio stations throughout the world.
For ten years I was an associate with Jim Bakker, speaking often with Jim at the churches and conferences where he was asked to speak. Jim Bakker has been my mentor and a father figure to me. Dr. Gary Smalley is one of my best friends and mentor as well he and I have bonded and it has changed my life. I have been a highly requested speaker throughout the world and it would be an honor for me to share what God has done in my life and what’s taking place in my life today.
I am able to, and want to be able to share my life, and my dedication to making the world better through more than just speaking. I have a passion to create change in other’s life through film; whether that is through true life documentaries, movies, commercials, or videos to inspire others to succeed. I was the Executive Producer and Director of the Jim Bakker Show for 5 years. I have personally filmed more than 2,000 hours of footage for this show. My filming duties included everything from the actual show itself to commercials and documentaries. I am well versed in all areas of the filming process not just through my experience but because of the passion that comes through in my work.
Being that my heart is in filming, and in the positive succeeding of people’s lives, I guess you could say that working with others, the people that I am filming, it comes naturally. I listen well to other’s dreams and views, and allow it to be incorporated into the process of filming.
This is my dream, to be in front or behind the camera, to film real life. To change lives, to help others survive real life, that is my goal, passion, and determination to succeed.
To book Jay Bakker to speak, please contact Lisa Darden at email@example.com or call 240-446-1554.
Music: “Revolution” by Matthew David