"I was introduced to the gang lifestyle when I was 7 years old. And by the time I was 8, I shot my first pistol, and I was introduced to the life of crime in a life that I never thought in a million years I was going to be introduced to," says Mondo De La Vega. De La Vega is executive vice president of television production and co-host on The Jim Bakker Show.
"As I started growing up, I got more and more involved in the operation of the gang on how to grow gangs, and be able to really participate on influencing our community by recruiting young kids and young girls to become part of this army that needed a father figure, needed a mother figure," De La Vega says.
"And I understood that the gang provided a family atmosphere. And you know what, that made an impact my life, but it made an impact in my life to the point where I feel like I wasn't worth living anymore. I felt like I wasn't good enough to be any anything else other than just a gangster. And I earned top rank in my gang to the point where I became one of the shot callers at one point," De La Vega says.
"That got me in trouble with the law; that got me in trouble with my enemies around the LA area. But it also created an empty hole in my heart, wondering if this is it; there's got to be more than just gangs. There's got to be more than just money. There's got to be more than power. There's got to be more than drugs.
"And a girl walked into my life, which is my sister, she walked into my life. And she told me three of the most powerful things that changed me till this day. She said, 'What if God is real? What if prayer works? What if you have a different destiny?'"
Listen to the podcast to hear what happened next.
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