«When I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul» (Psalm 138:3).
AT THE AGE of ten, Alfredo, whom everyone now knew as the «Panther» because of his agility to steal and run away, was a criminal in the streets of San José. He had had tattoos put on his whole body, he was still using drugs, and he even practiced satanic cults, drinking the blood of black cats and making pacts in cemeteries so he could get «power.» There was nothing good in the life of this street child. All his education was based on what he had learned in the dirty alleys where vice abounded.
At the age of fifteen, the Panther had a long record of robberies and a murder charge. The judge who dealt with his case condemned him to twenty-eight years in jail, which a Christian lawyer was able to reduce substantially. Doing time in prison is not a good school of life, either; however, it awakened within Don Alfredo a desire to change. When he got out of jail and returned to the only home he knew, he cried out to God, «I am tired of this life. If You really exist, please get me out of here. Save me.»
Not long after, Don Alfredo was able to lift his eyes to heaven and say, like the psalmist, «When I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul» (Psalm 138:3). Alfredo found work, a decent home, and most important of all, had a personal encounter with Jesus! Today he is a converted, transformed man, and a powerful witness of the power of God. His story shows us once again that nothing is impossible for God and that He can make each of us an instrument in His hands.
God is our bulwark; He gives us energy and vitality; He is our eternal Rock, who helped the people of Israel get ahead through Jephthah. An abandoned man, apparently without a future, was the instrument God used. The Panther, or Don Alfredo, is also a witness of the love of God, and is devoted to taking many people to his little church so he can lead them to know Jesus. There is nothing that limits us if we go to God every morning and put ourselves in His hands. There is nothing more powerful than calling to the Lord and waiting for His answer. We will immediately see how our strength increases, our hope is activated, our love is revitalized, and our lives take on their true purpose.