One day Donato found himself dragging his racked body off of a neighbor’s porch after suffering an epileptic attack. Fire water (liquor/moonshine) had taken its toll, even though he claimed to be its master.

Angel, Donato, and Melecio
Donato had worked himself and his family out of poverty by building a business that was sure to have steady and faithful customers. He was sure that he and his 2 sons could do harm unto others without harming themselves. After selling fire water for a few years, both he and his sons, Melecio and Angel, were addicted. Along with the alcoholism came thievery, fighting, long stays at prostitution houses... and all sorts of misery.

Although Donato is a very stern man, he will tell you today that he would suddenly break down and begin to cry at what his family had become. He vowed then to never be part of something that destroys families again. He quit selling fire water and bought a coffee field. Yet, neither he nor his sons had broken free from the addiction. Melecio and Angel were falling deeper into the pit of destruction.

Angel was one of the first men I witnessed to when my family and I moved here to the state of Puebla in June 2003. He was finishing up a game of basketball outside of the La Gallera's elementary school when I first met him. He had open ears to hear the Gospel. He often accompanied me as I evangelized different village. He listened with great interest. One evening in the truck, as we were driving home on a bumpy dirt road, he removed his hat, repented of his sins, confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord, and turned from his wicked ways. Within a few days Donato, Melecio, and both of their households were born again. Vicenta, Melecio's precious wife, will tell you, “From the day he met Christ, he has never drunk or returned to the brothels.” Their two sisters also came to Jesus after seeing the miracle changes!

Even though Donato was 74 years old with five grown children and several grandchildren, he had never married the woman that had given him his family and shared his home for over 40 years. They lived in what is called here “free-union,” as did Melecio and Vicenta. Four years later Angel was preparing to marry his young bride, Alma, daughter of one of our house church pastors. Donato was then compelled to officially tie the knot, and be a better example to his children. We were blessed to have a wedding with 5 couples, including Donato and Angel with their brides. One year later, Melecio and Vicenta were wed with 3 other couples. The families are all well and continuing to serve Jesus and help others!

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