The 2016 massacre at Orlando, Florida's Pulse nightclub devastated a city and shocked a nation. But Wanda Barrios Ruiz had a prophetic unction concerning her brother's connection to that horrific event. She shares her story as part of the "Overcomers" series on the Charisma Podcast Network.
"A couple weeks before, I started having these strong emotional feelings; I didn't know what they were," she says. "Even my husband would stop me and ask, 'Why are you crying so much? You act like somebody just died.'"
Her heart continued to ache, and soon her mother shared equal concerns after a disturbing dream. "She saw my brother [Luis Javier Ruiz] with blood all around him. ... We felt like Luis was in some kind of trouble."
Their angst continued as news of the deadly shooting spread to Texas, where the Ruiz family waited and prayed. Finally, they heard Luis was indeed at Pulse that night—but didn't know if he was alive or dead.
Before long, they learned he had been hospitalized but would recover (check out Luis' story here).
But Wanda's sense of urgency didn't stop. She knew of Luis' same-sex attractions, but throughout his journey, the two had remained close. When he came out as homosexual, "I wasn't angry. I just loved him."
That love—and that divine urgency—moved Wanda to seek ways to get to Orlando to assist in her brother's recovery. A stranger provided a plane ticket. And the blessings didn't stop there. During Wanda's visit, "I didn't have to pay for anything—like no food, no lodging. I was just so amazed by God's grace."
Today, Wanda does everything she can to support Luis, who has left the gay lifestyle and now travels to share his message of freedom in Christ. She encourages other believers with gay family members not to stop loving them—and not to give up.
Listen to more of Wanda's story, and the miracles God worked in the Ruizes' lives, when you download the podcast below.
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Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
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