Never doubt the power of our God! He is mighty to save, and Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz are living proof!
Colon, 29, and Ruiz, 36, are survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 that left a staggering 49 dead and 68 seriously wounded.
As we’ve previously reported, these young men are not just survivors of a deadly mass shooting. God didn’t simply save their lives that day—he saved their souls after they repented of their sins, including their homosexual lifestyle, and trusted in Jesus Christ as their savior!
Ever since God did his miraculous work in their lives, Colon and Ruiz have never ceased to share His truth with the very community of which they were once a part.
In collaboration with Florida Family Policy Council, Colon and Ruiz are organizing a Freedom March rally in Orlando on Sept. 14 to share the gospel and the truth about how even the most wicked sinner can be redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Of course, Ruiz and Colon are not without their detractors, most notably fellow Pulse survivors who remain firmly encamped in the LGBT movement.
“The fact that they’re survivors means I have nothing but love for them and compassion for their personal journey,” said Brandon Wolf, who has devoted himself to gun control and LGBTQ rights advocacy since surviving the shooting. “But what I hope doesn’t happen is that they send a message that Pulse was some sort of divine retribution. For people who are already traumatized to hear in any way that this was some divine act to help move people out of their sexual orientation or gender identity is really dangerous and has the ability to further damage a lot of people.”
Rev. Terri Steed Pierce, senior pastor of the LGBTQ-affirming Joy Metropolitan Community Church (JMCC), also expressed her concerns to The Orlando Sentinel about the upcoming Freedom March.
“We’re a mile and a half from Pulse,” Pierce said. “This is our neighborhood. And the fact that they’re coming here to do it, coming to the place where it happened, it just feels so harmful. I feel bad for every survivor, every family member of the victims, every first responder. It just brings up the torture and the trauma.”
Pierce added that many members of her church already “have been through that torture of trying to pray away the gay,” but to no avail.
“It’s who we are,” she declared. “And for this community to think that somehow this was God’s plan just goes against everything I know about God. It makes Pulse even sadder.”
This mentality is exactly what Colon, Ruiz, Freedom March, and the whole movement to preach God’s truth to this fallen world is up against. Rather than acknowledge their rejection of their Creator, His designed order, and His clear Scriptural commands for our lives (including how we struggle with our most deep-seated sins), churches like JMCC would rather create a new god in their own image.
What Freedom Marchers are after, however, isn’t merely the outward change of the individual. They’re out to share the Gospel, which is the power of God to save!
Jeffrey McCall, the founder of the Freedom March who once lived as a transgender “woman” named Scarlett, has shared previously how he was “transformed through the grace of Jesus and found that others have been as well. These marches are a way to ensure that others who have overcome are not feeling isolated and alone. There is an entire community of people that have made this transformation, and we are here to support them.”
“I’ve always said it’s not about gay to straight. It’s about lost to saved,” Ruiz stated. “Through the Freedom Marches we want to spread messages of love and acceptance for people who have shed their LGBTQ identity and show others that we do exist. These marches are our platform to educate, encourage others and share in a community. We’ve had a great response from people, other community groups and churches.”
Praise God for the incredible testimonies of men and women like these! While Scripture tells us that the salvation and changed heart of even the most morally upright individual is cause for all the angels of heaven to rejoice, how unfathomable is the grace and love of our God who even reaches out to save those who once despised and profaned Him!
Watch Elizabeth Johnston the Activist Mommy at the first Freedom March in Washington, DC last year:
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