Three years after an Islamic terrorist fatally shot 49 victims at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, more survivors are leaving their homosexual lifestyles and dedicating their lives to Jesus Christ.
“Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz probably shouldn’t have survived the 2016 massacre at Pulse … but they did, and the deadly shooting sparked radical transformation for both of them,” CBN News reported. “After realizing he had miraculously survived the June 16, 2016, killing – which left 49 people dead – Colon thanked God and promised to use his life to share the Gospel.”
Something better …
With pressures from the LGBT community to remain faithful to the gay lifestyle, Colon’s transformation wasn’t instantaneous, but he knew the moment he was lying on the ground next to dead peers that God was calling him to something more … something better.
“I look around again and everybody that was around me was dead, and I am alive,” Colon told Christian blogger Julie Roys in a recent podcast with the converted Christian men. “And I just started thanking God: ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord. … The moment I get out of here, I’m testifying about you. I am worshipping you for the rest of my life.’”
Ruiz was the first to completely abandon his gay lifestyle and dedicate everything to Christ.
“I should have been number 50!,” Ruiz exclaimed in a Facebook post. “Going through old pictures of the night of Pulse, I remember my struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV. My struggles were real! The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ.”
Before last year’s Freedom March – a “celebration of freedom from homosexuality and transgenderism” – Voice of the Voiceless Co-founder Christopher Doyle, whose organization is committed “to defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction and their families,” shared about the liberating decision to follow Christ … no matter what lifestyle one leaves.
“[The event is] about celebrating our lives and not hating the LGBTQ movement,” Doyle told NBC News in May last year. “We made a conscious choice to leave homosexuality, and we should be able to do that without being mocked."
Seeing others boldly leave the LGBT lifestyle without looking back helped Colon complete the conversion that had already begun from within on the nightclub floor.
“[A]fter watching Ruiz step out, Colon had the courage to embrace the faith that saved him,” CBN News’ Tré Goins-Phillips noted.
No longer did fear, doubt and insecurity dominate their lives.
“[Ruiz and I] became these men, these soldiers, these generals that aren’t scared anymore to share wherever they go the Gospel of God,” Colon shared with Roys.
Easy decision, hard but rewarding road
However, just like the Apostle Paul’s conversion on the Road to Damascus, Ruiz saw that there could be a rocky road ahead when making a decision for Christ.
“One of the reasons Colon was so hesitant to walk away from the LGBTQ community and run toward the church was because of the backlash Ruiz faced for his conversion,” Goins-Phillips explained.
Ruiz came around after one thing became clear to him.
“[It finally clicked for me when I realized that, despite my ongoing homosexual desires,] it’s not a gay to straight thing; it’s a lost to saved thing,” he told Roys.
Another obstacle in his life made things more clear for Ruiz.
“For Ruiz, living a faithless life was no longer an option when he discovered not long after the shooting he was HIV positive,” Goins-Phillips recounted. “He is now using his platform to spread the Gospel, and his story is making a big difference in the lives of those around him.”
He soon realized God has a purpose in everything.
“In all this, behind the scenes, God was working, because I had ex-lovers that were coming to Jesus because they saw a Facebook Live that they were making about me, and laughing about me,” Ruiz continued. “This brought people to email me and say, ‘Hey, I want to know about this Jesus you’re so in love with.’”
After Ruiz and Colon made their decision to follow Christ, they founded the Fearless Identity ministry as an outreach for those entrapped and hopeless in the LGBTQ lifestyle.
Their ministry joins Freedom March on an annual basis, and the two will host this year’s event on September 14, taking place just several minutes away from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando where their conversions began.